The Great Debate UK

A crisis for aviation leadership


-Professor Amir  Sharif is professor of operations management and director of MBA programmes at Brunel Business School. The opinions expressed are his own.-

It will not have escaped anyone’s notice recently that volcanoes and aircraft do not mix. Six days of global flights being reduced by 30 percent of normal traffic volume amounted to a staggering $200 million per day loss (according to industry bodies such as IATA and the AEA).

The global aviation industry as well as international trade, countries and individuals were left stunned that there is something that can rival and push our competence and technical prowess into submission, and leave us, quite definitely and literally, stranded.

The Eyjafjallajökull eruption has taught us a few, but distinctly harsh, lessons about managing uncertainty in the face of everyday life, and I believe a different mode of thinking will be necessary in future, particularly among those in charge of the aviation world.