Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2012

People Express Airlines

by Thomas R. Eisenmann and Lauren Barley


Recounts the history of People Express Airlines, which grew rapidly after its inception in 1980 then failed spectacularly in 1986. Profiles People's aggressive strategy and its distinctive approach to human resource management, which emphasized job rotation and minimal hierarchy.

Keywords: Strategy; Air Transportation; Business Exit or Shutdown; Business Growth and Maturation; Organizational Structure; Entrepreneurship; Failure; Human Resources; Business Startups; Air Transportation Industry;


Eisenmann, Thomas R., and Lauren Barley. "People Express Airlines." Harvard Business School Case 812-134, April 2012.