The Middle East Tribune

Centered on Civil Liberties & Political Issues, Human Development & Socioeconomic Matters

Why Airlines Should Reorient Aircrew Interactions


Many commercial airlines consider friendly interactions between their aircrew members important for promoting safety and increasing productivity. To accomplish that, they initiate courses, lectures, seminars and even organize entertainment and activity gatherings. They make every effort to give their aircrews privileges so that they raise self-esteem and efficiency.

Likewise, they encourage communication between their crew-members to create a harmonious sense of team spirit, a friendly atmosphere and a dedicated crew. Their main objectives are to enhance safety awareness and establish cooperative teamwork.

In most developing countries , the professional relationship between airline crew-members, mainly between flight and cabin crews, is unhealthy. Typically, it is a consequence of the unequal treatment of aircrew and biased procedures of conjoint rights. However, such unprofessional arrangements and practices are widespread and tolerated by many airlines, as divisions among aircrews can be exploited to the airlines’ advantage, in pay negotiations, for example.

Unfortunately, because of this biased treatment, some cockpit crew-members consider themselves superior to other aircrew members and employees. Thereon, they behave arrogantly with their colleagues overlooking the fact that they share the same workplace and, perhaps, the same fate. Although only a few incidents may be noticeable, many others happen but are overlooked or remain unresolved.

Naturally, expression and interchange are vital to open and constructive relationships. This cooperative atmosphere, however, exists in organizations that permit a two-way flow of information and the exchange of opinions between employees, and between employees and management.Nevertheless, in airlines that do not promote communication, aircrew relations are restricted and biased toward higher-ranking crew-members.

In fact, competent airlines have a conflict resolution system by which crew-members can settle their differences, or submit disputes to impartial arbitration. In doing so, management ensures that no further complications or similar incidents occur in the future, especially during flights.

It is very important for airlines to enforce fair settlement of grievances and remain impartial in disputes between employees, to lessen the potential of morale-sapping disputes between employees. Management should try to inspire employees, win their loyalty and spread high-quality organizational culture, which improves efficiency and standards, and so performance.

Obviously, experienced aircrews believe they have a commitment and moral obligation to encourage and support each other to build trust and effective cooperation, and honor fellowship for the benefit of all.

Some airline professionals consider this line of business as a science, while others regard it as an art. For commercial aviation experts, it is a combination of arts and science. The best illustration of that rich mixture is to have collaborative and harmonious airline crew members.

For the most part, all should take note that the airline business is not like any other. It cannot be run like a regular transport service  company or like a hotel or restaurant.


5 comments on “Why Airlines Should Reorient Aircrew Interactions

  1. Jennifer
    November 4, 2015

    Hi Mohammad,

    Great article, you have the mine-field covered as usual! Top down bottom up… (sounds like I’m talking about limestone caves) …communication clearly is important for success in any industry but in air services it should be non-negotiable as you say.

    In thinking about this, the flying situation is multi-layered. Power distribution is an important ingredient in structure. Equality is the liquid that binds the product so that the end outcome is a safe flight.

    I can see the hurdles in the way of air safety, not only in developing countries, but also in developed countries.

    The full range and distribution of air staff in every country, from pilots to passenger check in points, is fraught and filled with the Pandora’s box of attitudinal disparities. It is a global Pandora’s black box.

    I think it is important to define the individual roles of staff and responsibilities. Then the training should roll it all up with crusty equality. Finally, training should zip it all together, with safety from a global citizen perspective, top down and bottom up.

    Thanks Mohammad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous
    June 22, 2012

    Trust and respect between crew members is of vital importance. Imagine what might happen if everyone worked only for their own sake… Sabotage is not an option in the sky. Everybody has to work towards the same objective: have a smooth flight. That´s why airlines do (and should) spend a lot of money in psychologically test and train their personnel.


    • M. Moussalli
      June 22, 2012

      That’s the point. They should create a social corporate culture of equality and understanding to promote safety and teamwork


  3. GGM
    March 16, 2012

    A very good article. thanks


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© 2018 Mohammad S. Moussalli; ----------------------- Sharing, reblogging, excerpts and republication of this material, or part thereof, are permissible PROVIDED that it's clearly attributed to the author with reference to the original publication.
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