Turbulent Times for United Airlines

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR308 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Business Strategy
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1970-2008
Organization : United Airlines
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : United States
Industry : Aviation


United Airlines (United), the first commercial airline in the US, began operations on April 6, 1926. By the 1960s it was one of the largest airlines in the world. However, several problems began to arise in the 1970s, which severely impacted its business. With labor problems and financial losses, the airline found itself struggling to survive. In 2001, the conditions further deteriorated and the company was compelled to file for bankruptcy. Although the operations continued after it came out of bankruptcy, many of the company's cost-cutting measures came in for criticism, for infringing employee rights and benefits.

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To understand the problems faced by United from time to time, and how the company dealt with the problems.

To understand the reasons behind the company's poor performance and analyze its strategies.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
A Series of Unfortunate Events 4
Outlook 9
Exhibits 12


United Airlines, Commercial Airline, The Airline Deregulation Act, Operational cost, Labor cost, Employee Stock Option Plan, Bankruptcy, Debtor-in-possession financing, Restructuring

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