Air France: Pulling out of its Dive: Air France Under Christian Blanc

Published 01 Jan 1998
Reference 4741
Region Europe
Prizes & Awards



This case covers Christian Blanc’s first year at the head of Air France. When he takes up the job, the airline has been brought to a standstill by its unions who refuse to accept the rationalisation plan proposed by Blanc’s predecessor, Bernard Attali. Blanc launches a massive listening exercise to try to understand the dysfunctions of the company. He then proposes a plan that, in some respects, is tougher than the rejected plan - and puts it to the vote. Over 80% of employees support it and it serves as a springboard for the revival of the airline.

Teaching objectives

The case considers how an incoming a leader establishes credibility, wins over the employees and initiates a painful change process which was inconceivable just a few months previously. The case raises three key themes: the role and enactment of fair process, making a case for change and then implementing it; and the determinants of charismatic leadership.

  • Fair Process
  • Leadership
  • Crisis
  • Change
  • Procedural Justice
  • Unions
  • Succession
  • Industrial Relations