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RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS
|Author :||Ravi Ravinder|
|School/Work Place :||University of Technology Sydney, Australia|
The aviation industry is a critical element of any tourism system, and has several secondary effects – a source of employment and foreign exchange earnings. A ‘national carrier’ is also a symbol of the country, a source of pride amongst the local community and a representative of the host country in other countries that it flies to.
It is important to investigate whether the airline industry is, by and large, acting in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Or is it that, given the current wave of liberalization, airlines are only acting in their own self-interest, and answerable only to their shareholder base. Solomon (1993) points out that most people are aware of ethical issues and the micro- or macro-level, but ethical issues at what he terms the ‘molar’ level (whose unit is the modern corporate organisation) are unclear, especially when they interact with micro- and macro–issues. In other words, whilst what constitutes ethical behaviour by business units is open to debate, the issue of the corporation’s social obligations to the community are even more rarely discussed. One particular set of possibly unethical behaviours is the nature of anti-competitive and collusive business practices. This paper uses some ethics-based approaches to examine three particular aviation industry issues that fall within this domain.
Whilst there are a multitude of issues relating to actual or alleged unethical and/or socially irresponsible behaviours amongst airlines, this paper will focus on a few aspects only. Specifically, only the passenger product-market of airlines will be considered, and the discussion will also focus on the collaborative efforts between individual airlines, on the one hand, and between airlines and airports on the other. It will, however, cover both domestic and international airlines, both full-service and low-cost.