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Etihad Airways: reputation management – an example of the Eyjafjallajökull Iceland volcano

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan (Faculty of Business and Management, University of Wollongong, Dubai, UAE)

Publication date: 1 October 2011

Issue publication date: 1 October 2011


Subject area

Crisis management, reputation and brand management, corporate communication, logistics, organization strategy.

Study level/applicability

Post-graduate and executive education.

Case overview

The Eyjafjallajökull Iceland Volcano erupted on April 14, 2010, causing an estimated loss of US$1.7 billion for the aviation industry. At one stage in this weeklong event, 1.2 million passengers were affected with 100,000 flights being grounded across Europe. This case documents the way Etihad, a leading global airline company managed the crisis and continues to learn for future scenarios.

Expected learning outcomes

Adaptation strategies, reputation management, brand management, crisis planning and implementation, communication and stakeholder management, scenario analysis.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes.



This case was written by Dr Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan. It was prepared using company information and interviews and its intention was to provide material for class discussion through publication. The author does not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The author may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.


Balakrishnan, M.S. (2011), "Etihad Airways: reputation management – an example of the Eyjafjallajökull Iceland volcano", , Vol. 1 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © Balakrishnan 2011

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