Commercial airports are powerful economic engines, generating jobs and substantial funds for regional, national, and global economies. The 2012 GdF strike action at Frankfurt International Airport represents a crisis scenario that not only threatened to disrupt the overall operations of the transport company, Fraport AG, but also global commerce and air traffic at large. While this crisis event jeopardised Fraport’s balance of quality service and economic competitiveness, the company still managed to maintain growth in the 2012 fiscal year. According to assumptions derived from total quality management principles, an effective management system ultimately impacts the quality of the organisation’s output. Fraport established its management system within a process- and value-oriented framework, thus its output (i.e., the overall customer experience) ranks among the best in the world. While observing the positive impact of Fraport’s integrated business model on its recovery from the GdF strike action, it is also worthwhile to consider other airports that struggle to recover as effectively from crisis events.
Keywords: crisis, crisis management, recovery, management systems, airport industry, cross-cultural management, strike action, die Gewerkschaft der Flugsicherung, Fraport AG