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How El Al Airlines transformed its service strategy with employee participation

Ram Herstein (Senior lecturer and Head of Marketing at the Ruppin Academic Center, Israel, and an adjunct lecturer at City University of New York (
Yoram Mitki (Associate professor of management in the Department of Business Administration at the Ruppin Academic Center and a consultant (

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 9 May 2008




The purpose of this case study is to trace the process by which the new management of an airline company sought to implement a premium service strategy and to assimilate this strategy into its organizational culture, with the aim of positioning the company as a high‐quality airline with a place among the leading international airline companies.


In‐depth semi‐structured interviews with the chairman, CEO, marketing manager, service manager, human resource manager and employees from different units were held during a period of four months. In addition, documents (reports, industry analyses, newspaper publications, and periodical reports) relating to the change process were collected and reviewed.


The case study suggests that any attempt by an airline company to change its service culture and to reach high‐quality standards should be led by a planned strategy which fully involves employees, utilizing their knowledge and experience. This should be done through a well‐thought‐out process designed to ascertain customers' concerns and needs, the types of service changes required to meet these needs, and practical steps that can be taken to implement these changes.


This case depicts a unique process of creating a premium‐service culture based on the provision of high‐quality personal service both before the flight, during the flight and after landing.



Herstein, R. and Mitki, Y. (2008), "How El Al Airlines transformed its service strategy with employee participation", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 21-25.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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