Middle East Airlines: Uncertainty in the Skies Over Syria
(7 pages of text)
The chief executive officer (CEO) of Middle East Airlines (MEA) had to decide whether the airline should fly over Syria during the armed conflict. All other airlines in the Middle East had decided not to fly over Syria either because they did not want to show their support for the Syrian government or because they believed it was too dangerous. Yet, these airlines did not have as much to lose as MEA because, unlike them, 50 per cent of this airline’s flights flew over that country. It was estimated that MEA could lose US$50 million if it did not fly over Syria. What should the CEO do?
This case is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate courses that address the topics of leadership, decision-making, international business, and non-market strategies. After having discussed this case and working through the assignment questions below, students will be able to
- discuss the potential challenges of working in areas close to conflict zones;
- understand the complexities involved in making critical decisions in which not only the profitability of a company but also people’s lives are at stake;
- evaluate how cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity can serve as a resource for making decisions in countries like Lebanon; and
- appreciate the complexity of working in the Middle East and the important role of politics in this region.
Transportation and Warehousing
Lebanon; Lebanon And Syria, Large, 2013
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