Corporate Social Responsibility: Airplanes and Airline Industry

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In 1978, The Airline Deregulation Act was purposed and signed by President Jimmy Carter. This federal law came into existence for two main reasons; stated by Carter (1978), “to help our fight against inflation, and to ensure American citizens of an opportunity for low-priced air transportation. Today’s motives in the airline industry go way beyond economic decisions for themselves as well as their shareholders. Nowadays, businesses are an essential part of society and the airline industry must exceed their compliance of legislation and obligations of what is expected of them and focus on the interests of society. In doing so, they must perform corporate social responsibility that will help improve the community, society’s youth, charity, education, and also our planet. This corporate social responsibility should not be an option but rather an obligation, as that they play an essential role in creating goodwill, a positive image, and a competitive edge for the industry. Corporate social responsibility also increases sustainability by assisting the industry in achieving its goals and increasing long-term shareholder value. One company that exhibits this corporate social responsibility is JetBlue. They are dedicated to serving the needs of America’s youth as well as their community. Ian Deason, the director of airport operations, stated that “Flying is our core business… our core values include caring, integrity and passion.” The company will continue to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility in April 2013 by hosting their third annual “Wings for Autism” event at their Boston Logan International Airport location. The program is designed to introduce the possibility of flight travel to children with autism and give their families an opportunity to practice the boarding process, become familiar with the plane, and interact with the pilots and crewmembers. Crewmembers will team up with autism experts at The Charles River Center, where they will be trained to exemplify the expected and unexpected needs of families with children who are autistic. Since the program started in 2010, more than 400 families in the Boston area have been able to participate in the program which the company plans on providing to other cities in the near future (McFadden). JetBlue also partners with many nonprofit organizations. One in particular is KaBOOM, an organization that constructs innovative kid inspired playground areas for communities. This past March, following the occurrence of Hurricane Sandy the partnership hosted a design day in the Sandy impacted city of Long Beach, NY in which children were able to sit down with team members and assist in the design of a playground that will be constructed there in May of 2013. JetBlue plans to expand this program to other affected cites and since their partnership with KaBOOM in 2006 they have helped build a total of 13 playgrounds, engaged 2,636 volunteers and provided a safe place for children to play in cities across the airline’s network (BlueTales). Moreover, JetBlue isn’t the only airline that is signifying their corporate social responsibly to the community. Transaero, an airline company in Russia implements many charitable programs. In 2012, the company’s corporate social responsibility program made the top three in Russia and they were also assigned the top AAA(s) corporate social responsibility rating. Transaero supports children with cancer as well as their families. They offer camps where children can receive medical and psychological rehabilitation and also fund a year round facility in Moscow, where children and their parents can receive legal aid. With cancer treatments and airfare being rather expensive, the company offers free flights to Moscow, St. Petersburg or even abroad so that the children can receive their needed treatment. Also many of the airlines employees are regular blood donors and make regular visits to hospitals and cancer centers to visit with sick...
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