Company Overview Of Kingfisher Airlines Limited Management Essay

Kingfisher Airlines Limited is a major Indian airline based in Mumbai. Kingfisher operates more than 400 flights a day and has a network of 80 destinations, with regional and long-haul international services. Kingfisher Airlines, through one of its holding companies United Breweries Group, has a 50 percent stake in low-cost carrier Kingfisher Red.

Kingfisher Airlines is one of six airlines in the world to have a five-star rating from Skytrax, along with Asiana Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways. In May 2009, Kingfisher Airlines carried more than a million passengers, giving it the highest market share among airlines in India.

On 14 July 2008, Kingfisher unveiled its first ever Wide-body aircraft, a Airbus A330-200 (registered VT-VJL) at the 46th Farnborough Airshowheld in July 2008. Kingfisher’s first Airbus A330-200 was widely billed (according to the airline’s press release) as the best A330-200 ever built byAirbus

On 3 September 2008, Kingfisher started its international operations by connecting Bangalore with London. On 15 September 2009 the London service was withdrawn.

On 23 February 2010 Kingfisher announced that it would be joining the Oneworld airline alliance by 2011 subject to regulatory approval.

Kingfisher Airlines serves over 60 domestic destinations and 7 international destinations in 7 countries across Asia and Europe.

Kingfisher’s fleet consists of the following aircraft as of 25 January 2010:

Kingfisher Airlines Fleet


In Service




(Kingfisher First/Kingfisher Class)

ATR 42-500


48 (0/48)

ATR 72-500





66 (0/66)

72 (0/72)

Airbus A319-100


144 (0/144)

Airbus A320-200





134 (20/114)

174 (0/174)

180 (0/180)

Airbus A321-200



151 (32/119)

199 (0/199)

Airbus A330-200



217 (30/187)

Airbus A350-800



Airbus A380-800








Mary Parker Follett (1868-1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, defined management as “the art of getting things done through people”. She also described management as philosophy. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. Management can also refer to the person or people who perform the act(s) of management. The different management theories inform us how a business is basically being carried out. It gives us an about the effective state of affairs, managerial structure and other important aspects of the business. The management theories are written off as in four different forms. They are as follows:-

Classical Viewpoint (scientific management, bureaucratic management, administrative management)

Behavioural Viewpoint (Hawthorne studies, human relations movement, behavioural science approach)

Quantitative Viewpoint (management science, operations management, management information systems)

Contemporary Viewpoint (systems theory, contingency theory, emerging views)


Classical View of Management

Classical Viewpoint is divided into three parts:

1. Scientific management

2. Bureaucratic management

3. Administrative management

1. Scientific management:

Scientific management is defined as the use of the scientific method to define the “one best way” for a job to be done.

Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915)

Frederick Winslow Taylor was the first nationally known management thinker. . His “pig iron” experiment is probably the most widely cited example of scientific management.His “Taylorism” or “scientific management” was a major contribution to business operations as we know them today. Through his four principles of scientific management, Taylor advocated scientific study of the task to find the best work method rather than relying on traditional methods handed down from one worker to another..

Taylor’s Four Principles of Scientific Management:

1. Study each part of the task scientifically, and develop a best method to perform it.

2. Carefully select workers and train them to perform a task using the scientifically developed method.

3. Cooperate fully with workers to ensure they use the proper method.

4. Divide work and responsibility so management is responsible for planning work methods using scientific principles and workers are responsible for executing the work accordingly.

2. Bureaucratic management:

Max Weber (1864-1920)

 Max Weber a well known German sociologist coined the term “bureaucracy” to apply to the ideal of large organizations operating on a rational basis. Weber’s original definition was much different than the definition of government red tape and bungling usually associated with the term “bureaucracy” today.

Characteristics of Weber’s ideal bureaucracy

The major characteristics of Weber’s ideal bureaucracy include:

a. Specialization of a labor

b. Formalization of rules and procedures

c. Impersonality in application of rules and sanctions

d. Formalization of lines of authority into a hierarchical structure. Weber’s bureaucratic characteristics are still evident in many of today’s large

DIVISION OF WORK: There is high degree of specialization or division of labour in a Nokia. Tasks are divided into very specialized jobs and each member performs his specialized function in a predictable manner. The person with right skills and quality must be put in post in which he is best suite.

RULE S AND REGULATIONS: Detailed and rigorous rules and regulations are laid down to specify and govern the work behaviour, rights and duties of job-holders. There is rigid adherence to prescribe rules designed to ensure consistency and predictability in work performance. It is the written commands which get implemented to achieve certain goal.

HIERARCHY OF AUTHORITY: It is the formal distribution of positional authority to give commands needed for discharging duties at various levels. Each position in the hierarchy covers an area over which it has complete jurisdiction in terms of competence and authority. Each superior exercises supervision and control on his subordinates with provision for appeal to higher authorities in the prescribed manner.

IMPERSONAL RELATIONS: Relations among the members of a bureaucratic organization are impersonal and formal. Superiors adopt an impersonal attitude in dealing with their subordinates.

TECHNICAL COMPETENCE: Selection and promotion of any employee depends on their technical capabilities. Person with more technical skills are more likely to get promotion very frequently. People with less technical skills are provided with special training.9

The extent of each position’s formal authority and task responsibilities, and its relationship to other positions in an organization, should be clearly specified. When the tasks and authority associated with various positions in the organization are clearly specified, managers and workers know what is expected from whom and what to expect from each other. Moreover, an organization can hold all its employees strictly accountable for their actions when each person is completely familiar with his or her duties and responsibilities.

1. The Administrative Management

It is a term used for those early-day contributors who developed and taught principles to be used by managers, both individually and collectively, to improve the performance of the overall functions of the organization.

Henri Fayol (1841-1925)

Henri Fayol successful French industrialist, developed theories about management he thought could be taught to those individuals with administrative responsibilities.Fayol’s lasting contribution is the functional approach to management which is still used today. The major managerial functions, according to Fayol, were planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating, and controlling.

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Like Weber, Fayol’s works were not translated into English for a couple of decades after his death.Fayol gives us 14 principles of management which are still being used nowadays. These principles are given below:

Fayol’s 14 Principles of Management

1. Division of work.

2. Authority.

3. Discipline..

4. Unity of Command

5. Unity of direction.

6. Subordination of individual interests to the general interest.

7. Remuneration .

8. Centralization.

9. Scalar Chain .

10. Order .

11. Equity .

12. Stability of tenure of personnel

13. Initiative.

14. Esprit de corps



The working committee and higher authority at Kingfisher every day adopts many new technologies and innovations for their development by replacing the old rule-of-thumb method.

For e.g.:

With the implementation of Sabre Airline Solutions’ passenger reservations and departure control systems, the SabreSonic Passenger Solutions, Kingfisher Airlines will be able to manage its reservations, pricing, ticketing and reporting efficiently. 

Kingfisher Airlines is also leveraging other technology from Sabre Airline Solutions to help analyze the market and determine the best approaches to maximize revenue, including Sabre AirMax Revenue Manager, the Quasar passenger revenue accounting system and the Sabre Loyalty Suite.

To optimize operations, Kingfisher Airlines is also leveraging the Sabre AirOps Flight Operations Suite and the Sabre Rocade Crew Management System. 

The main punch line for Kingfisher Airlines is “Soar to new heights” . The Kingfisher committee for recruitment & Training also acquires new scientific selection of employees as well as the student’s and train them in all fields rather to let them choose their own area of interest. Eg— recruitment of candidates through multiple tests and further training campaign for them.

For e.g.:

Kingfisher have made a fine start by being recognized for ‘service excellence for a new airline’ by Skytrax, a UK based specialist global air transport advisor.

Kingfisher has acquired the capability to offer Joint Aviation Authorities Airline Transport Pilot License (JAA ATPL) Pilot Ground Training course.

At Kingfisher the division of work among all the workers is shared equally for all categories, this activity can create a sense of respect among all workers.


Application Of Bureaucratic Management Theory in Kingfisher:

The jobs at KINGFISHER AIRLINES are broken down into simple, routine, and well-defined tasks. Each units and departments has its own work to do and they know their job, this creates a good competition and spirit among each other to lead their departments and organization as well.

The positions and authority are well organized at KINGFISHER AIRLINES in a hierarchy and clear chain of systems.

Here are some of the rights and duties for the employees of KINGFISHER AIRLINES :-

a.) Voting right and other privileges of members of the General Body:

All Full members and Guest members of the Association are entitled to the same kind of privileges.

All Full members of have voting right only to elect nominees of their respective groups to the Executive Committee of the Association.

All Full members of have voting rights on all the issues of Association (e.g. election of the office bearers of the Association as well as nominees) on the Executive Committee, constitutional amendments etc.)


To elect the Executive Committee .

To guide and examine the work of the Executive Committee and decide the future line of action.

To draw rules and byelaws for the smooth functioning of the Association

To examine and approve the yearly income and expenditure drawn by the Executive Committee.

To assist in raising funds for the Association

The General Body has the power to sanction extraordinary expenses of the Association as and when deemed necessary.

The selection and promotion criteria at KINGFISHER AIRLINES are totally based on competent basis and technical platform. Their commitment of delivering a true Kingfisher experience rests entirely on the able shoulders of their team. They are constantly looking for the right mix of experience and attitude whether it is in-flight, on ground, or behind the scenes. If you are a potential candidate, they invite you to explore their careers section.

Selection – KINGFISHER AIRLINES determines the best candidates from those who apply, arranging interviews, tests, and references.

Promotion – KINGFISHER AIRLINES runs similar selection procedures to determine progression within the organization. These allow them to move up the hierarchy as they gain expertise and experience.


Division of Work. The intent of division of work is to produce more and better work for the same effort. Specialization is the most efficient way to use human effort and this principle is well adopted at KINGFISHER AIRLINES as it is clearly shown below in the table of hierarchy.

Kingfisher Organizational Structure:

CEO &CHAIRMAN ( Mr. Vijay Malya)

Governing Body (GB)

Finance Committee

Training Committee

Selection   Committee

Estate Committee




Security Mangament


Deputy Director Administration

Recruitment Officer

Security Superintendent

Chiefs of Centres


    Deputy Director Administration

Sr. Financial Advisor

Sr. Administrative Officer

Estate Manager

Store Officer

Superintending Eng.

Security Officer

Public Relation Officer

2.       Authority and Responsibility. Authority is the right to give orders and obtain obedience, and responsibility is a corollary of authority. The Governing body at KINGFISHER AIRLINES has divided official authorities in five. Which is the authority of command -the CEO Mr.Vijay Malya, and personal authority- the administration, the Training & Recruitment and the Financial Board which is the authority of the monetary maintenance.

3.       Discipline. Obedience to organizational rules and employment agreement is necessary. The best way to have good superiors and clear and fair rules and agreements is to apply sanctions and penalties judiciously.

The me

mbers of the Board and Senior Management Personnel of the Company acknowledge and accept:

the responsibility to carry out their duties in an honest and businesslike manner and within the scope of their authority, as set forth in the general laws of the land where they operate and in the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the Company, Corporate Governance Guidelines; and

that they are entrusted with and responsible for the oversight of the assets and business affairs of the Company in an honest, fair, diligent and ethical manner, and with the duty to make and enact informed decisions and policies in the best interests of the Company and its stakeholders

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4.       Unity of Command. There is one and only one boss for each individual employee. This statement can also be clearly stated from above table of hierarchy.

5.       Unity of Direction. All units in the organization should be moving toward the same objectives through coordinated and focused effort. The main motive of KINGFISHER AIRLINES is to serve as nucleus for nurturing excellence in all aspects of aviation and this Moto is by far achieved through unity of direction of their employees. serve as a nucleus for nurturing excellence in all aspects of health care

6.       Subordination of Individual Interest to General Interest. The interests of the organization should take priority over the interests of any one individual employee. At KINGFISHER AIRLINES the governing body tries to look its organization first rather to give preference to its single employee.

7.       Remuneration of Employees. The overall pay and compensation for employees should be fair to both employees and the organization. As KINGFISHER AIRLINES is a governmental organization it gets surplus finance and the employees over here enjoys good remuneration and perks.

8.       Centralization. There is a need to balance subordinate involvement through decentralization with managers’ retention of final authority through centralization. The supreme head of KINGFISHER AIRLINES is the governing body and step by step there are many managers who balance involvement of junior employees and centralize the organization.

9.       Scalar Chain. Organizations should have a chain of authority and communication that runs from the top to the bottom and should be followed by managers and subordinates. As from top most the governing body looks after the job of Directorial board which looks after their subordinates. This is a scalar chain for this organization.

10.   Order. People and materials must be in suitable places at the appropriate time for maximum efficiency. There is a special department and committee to resolve problems of each type at suitable time and efficiently as shown in the table above.

11.   Equity. Good sense and experience are needed to ensure fairness to all employees, who should be treated as equally as possible. The governing body who is the management consists of all experienced employees with full knowledge and understanding of aviation environment and treats all the employees in their organization equally.

12.   Stability of Personnel. Employee turnover should be minimized to maintain organizational efficiency. Each employee in KINGFISHER AIRLINES has a fixed tenure of their job’s which maintains the stability in the organization.

13.   Initiative. Workers should be encouraged to develop and carry out their plans for improvements. Each and every employee at KINGFISHER AIRLINES knows their designation and responsibility and they are encouraged by the governing body to carry out their plans in their departments with prior approval of their senior when asked for.

14.   Esprit de Corps. Management should promote a team spirit of unity and harmony among employees. The governing body at KINGFISHER AIRLINES tries to create a harmonical environment all around the organization for excellence and development.

Contemporary Viewpoint

There are three contemporary management perspectives:-

systems, contingency, and emerging view point


A system is a set of interrelated parts that operate together to achieve a common purpose

The systems viewpoint sees the organization as a system of interrelated parts

Thus, an organization is both a collection of subsystems (parts making up the whole system) and a part of the larger environment

There are four parts in a system:

inputs (the people, money, information, equipment, and materials required to produce an organization’s goods or services)

outputs (the products, services, profits, losses, employee satisfaction or discontent that are produced by the organization

transformation processes (the organization’s capabilities in management and technology that are applied to converting inputs into outputs)

feedback (information about the reaction of the environment to the outputs that affect the inputs)


According to the contingency viewpoint of management, a manager’s approach should vary according to the individual situation and the environmental situation .

Contigency is the view that appropriate managerial action depends on the particular parameters of each situation. This approach is in marked contrast to the earliest universal approach stemming from the classical management school which suggested that there was one, and only one, best decision for managers to make which applied in all cases and to all organization, big or little, for profit, or not-for-profit, etc.

The contingency approach applies particularly well in such areas as environmental factors, strategy, organizational design, technology, and leadership

An open system continually interacts with its environment

A closed system has little interaction with its environment

Organizations that ignore feedback from the environment are vulnerable to failure

Application of Contemporary Theory in Kingfisher:

System Viewpoint:

When talking about system viewpoint and the related contemporary Theory in Kingfisher these are the point to be noted:

Kingfisher is working along with many other organizations like Sabre Solutions, European Regulators, Pratt HYPERLINK “$300-million-engine-order.aspx”&HYPERLINK “$300-million-engine-order.aspx” Whitney for its flight development and the technological development but they are moving up with the same goal and motive.

Contingency Viewpoint:

The managers and senior officers of Kingfisher are well contingent with the employees and the environmental situation.

Quality Management Approaches:

The Quality Management Approaches adopted by kingfisher are:

Six Sigma Approach= The increased cost of fuel, the competition driven by low budget airlines, etc has made the need for lower cost without a hit to quality the need of the hour. The number of errors in handling the calls from customers, and ticketing is to be minimized drastically. It was with this intention that the Kingfisher adopted Six Sigma into the organization.

Failure testing – In a failure testing quality control the end product is put through a series of tests to determine the circumstanced under which it will fail to perform its function. For example, increasing factors of material stress, vibration, temperature, and other forms of wear and tear will eventually reveal any weaknesses the product has. 

Statistical control – Statistical control is a quality control technique that uses mathematics to uncover the likelihood of product failure.

Company quality – This quality control technique involves the entire company’s participation when it comes to quality control. This technique is certainly not limited only to those in the field of manufacturing either.

Total quality control – The total quality control technique is usually used in cases where other methods of quality control have still not corrected the quality concerns or there is still some sort of sales decrease.

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Quality Assurance Approaches:

The reason the Company Quality Approach is such an essential component to the quality assurance process in an airline business is because of the important role that employees have in creating quality assurance, flight safety and customer satisfaction. Because employees are not a machine and are in fact human, a purely industrial approach is not appropriate for managing the human element of quality assurance. Thus, as such companies as Kingfisher Airlines has figured out, a unique approach to quality assurance must be taken as to the employee and people aspect of running a quality airline. This unique approach is the Company Quality Approach and is an essential part of the human resources operation of this airline service.

Behavioral Viewpoint

Organizational behavior (OB) research has contributed much of what we know about behavioral views of management, human resources management, motivation, leadership, trust, teamwork, and conflict management.

.Hugo Munsterbeg (1863-1916)

Hugo Munsterbeg is considered to be the “father of industrial psychology” and is regarded by students of psychology as an important figure as Frederick Taylor is by students of management. Munsterberg attempted to develop practical applications of psychology.

He argued that psychologists could help industry in three major areas: a. Finding ways to identify individuals best suited to particular jobs. b. Identifying the psychological conditions for optimum efficiency. c. Finding ways to influence individual behavior to be congruent with management’s objectives

The Hawthorne Studies

Without question, the most important contribution to the developing Organization Behavior field came out of the Hawthorne Studies, a series of studies conducted at the Western Electric Company Works in Cicero, Illinois. These studies, started in 1924 and continued through the early 1930s, were initially designed by Western Electric industrial engineers as a scientific management experiment. They wanted to examine the effect of various illumination levels on worker productivity

Hawthorne studies reflected the scientific management tradition of seeking greater efficiency by improving the tools and methods of work-in this case, lighting.

The third set of studies centered on group production norms and individual motivation.

Although simplistic and methodologically primitive, the Hawthorne studies established the impact that social aspects of the job (and the informal group) have on productivity.

Human Relations Movement:

This movement was an attempt to equip managers with the social skills they need.

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) developed a theory of motivation that was based on three assumptions about human nature.

Physiological (lowest)


Belongingness or social


Self-actualization (highest and NOT achieved by everyone)

Douglas McGregor (1906-1964) developed the Theory X and Theory Y dichotomy about the assumptions managers make about workers and how these assumptions affect behavior.

 Theory X managers tend to assume that workers are lazy, need to be coerced, have little ambition, and are focused on security needs. These managers then treat their subordinates as if these assumptions were true.

 Theory Y managers tend to assume that workers do not inherently dislike work, are capable of self-control, have the capacity to be creative and innovative, and generally have higher-level needs that are often not met on the job.


To motivate the employees the company is providing their needs to the employees according to their position. They are running employee incentive programmers. Employees who meet targets, go beyond the call of duty or simply do a good job are rewarded for their efforts. In order to maximize employee motivation via employee incentives it is useful to discuss the following program with employees.

The company is Changing the pay rules so that the group was paid for overall group production, not individual production.

Providing food during the breaks.

shortening the day by 1 hour

Parts time jobs available for newcomers.

Application of human relation movement:

The company Kingfisher’s approaching each employee as a source of unique knowledge with something valuable to contribute to the company.

The company is taking care of employee’s needs to do the job in Mechatronics.

Communication of expectation of employees keeping the goal in mind.

Knowing their goals, their stressors, what excites them and how they each define success?

By providing good training.

The company takes feedback of employees.

Providing Reward and recognizing employees in ways that are meaningful to them

Keeping success story alive

Being consistent in every work which is related with employees.

Application of behavioral science approach:

Rotation of jobs: It involves cross training employees or teaching employees each other’s jobs.

Expanding their job knowledge and capabilities

Enlargement of jobs in the Mechatronics: employees are given a wider breadth of tasks and responsibilities within their own job.

Re-Energizing and increasing the job depth of employee’s responsibilities.

Effective organizational management:

Organizational Behavior: In my understanding organizational behavior is the manner people interact in a work environment. By study organizational behavior, we can understand each other better and find a way to work together.

Kingfisher relies on individual to provide services, and manage organization. So, understanding individual can help produce quality work. All these things found in my organization Kingfisher ltd.

Marketing and Consumer Behavior: Kingfisher marketers seek to influence this process using Examples from the marketing when consumers evaluate a brand; they are trying to get an overall picture of the service facility, which will allow the consumer to take a stand as to what they think of that.

Following strategies were followed to make it one of the leading Airlines in India.

It came up with a very appealing promotional line “Fly the good times” and it reflected in the experience the company offered to its passengers.

KFA is also  launched Kingfisher express in order to tap into the growing LCC segment.

It planned to re-launch its commercial air service called UB Airway again which it had to withdraw it due to government restrictions.

The company gave best services to its customers that were like providing world class interiors, and in-flight entertainment systems.

Resolving Conflicts: The case is so structured as to enable to understand why and how Kingfisher was constantly plagued by HR problems. KFA has plans to make an Initial Public Offer (IPO) and raise around US$200 mn that would be used for its fleet acquisition and route expansion activities. We should be able to see how the pilots and other workers used arm-twisting tactics to get IA to agree to all their demands.

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