Environment has been prominent among recent public debate, although LFAs' impacts are broader.

CSR and Low-fares Airlines



Project team

Prof. Tim Coles

Dr. Claire Dinan

Emily Fenclova

About the project

The expansion of low fares airlines (LFAs, or low-cost carriers), with their innovative business models has driven strong growth in United Kingdom inbound and outbound travel in recent years. LFAs -such as Flybe, easyJet and Ryanair- have become popular among business travellers, reduced travel times, and contributed to regional development, especially in peripheral markets. Leisure travellers from varied socio-economic backgrounds have taken the opportunity to travel to previously inaccessible destinations, and more often.

Public discourses about LFAs have been framed by the principles of sustainable development that, in turn, drive public policy. Environment has been prominent among recent public debate which has focused predominantly to how to reduce, adapt to, and/or mitigate the environmental impacts of air transport. However, this has only served to divert our full gaze away from other aspects of the ‘triple bottom line’, and in particular the extent to which sustainability is practiced inside LFAs.

The purpose of this year-long research project, which is supported by the ESRC and Flybe, is to understand corporate social responsibility (CSR) among LFAs flying to and from the UK. The outcomes of the work are a greater understanding of the current practices and future trends in CSR. The work makes a series of practical recommendations on the distinctive issues businesses in the aviation (and travel and tourism sector more widely) will encounter and have to overcome as they attempt to develop their CSR activities further.


Innovation, Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Transfer
Service processes and operations
Travel, Transport and Sustainability


Business Engagement




Corporate Social Responsibility: Issues for Future Development in LFAs

Corporate Social Responsibility among Low-Fares Airlines

Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Aviation