Improving crisis response for a national carrier

All airlines have a detailed and regulator-approved emergency crisis response plan. Often within it, there is a detailed communications plan to enable a rapid response to media and affected parties. Communications leaders at Etihad, the global airline based in Abu Dhabi, wanted to test their responses and see how their leaders managed the challenges.


Bladonmore was asked to assess Etihad’s comms planning in the event of a Tier 1, 2 or 3 crisis and to improve its overall response to major incidents. Deploying coaches and cameramen in Abu Dhabi over several days, we ran evolving scenarios designed to test responses and gauge the approach of various differing team members, from operations to C-suite to the communications teams.


We produced highly-realistic scenarios and mocked-up TV and print news updates, as well as social media interactions. The candidates managed their way through a changing and often ambiguous landscape, managing media interactions and communicating with stakeholders to try and manage the crisis information. The outcome was an increased appreciation of the need for fast, cohesive, enabled decision-making teams that controlled the narrative, kept stakeholders aligned, and minimised reputational damage.

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