[[folder:Main Cast]]

!Captain Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch)
* {{Adorkable}}
* AnimalsHateHim: In Uskerty, he winds up being attacked by bees and pestered by a goose, which then proceeds to [[spoiler: eat his father's signet ring.]]
* BuffySpeak: While he tries to be professional, Martin lacks Douglas's impressive vocabulary, and occasionally lapses into this.
-->'''Martin:''' But the thing is, weíve taken away all the things that couldn't possibly have happened, so I suppose the only thing thatís left, even though it seems really weird, must be the thing that did happen, in fact.
* ButtMonkey
* CannotTalkToWomen: Gets tongue-tied when dealing with attractive women, e.g. Hester [=MacCauley=] ("Cremona"), Linda Fairburn ("Newcastle") and Princess Theresa ("Vaduz").
* {{Determinator}}: He qualified to be a pilot on his seventh attempt. Every time he failed he had to save up the money again in order to retry.
* EmotionalRegression: suffers this when his brother and sister are around.
* ExpectingSomeoneTaller: Is constantly on the receiving end of this when people fail to acknowledge him as the Captain.
* GeekPhysiques: Implied to be small and spindly. Has trouble getting people to recognise him as an authority figure. This can be a bit jarring when it comes to the promotional pictures, since Creator/BenedictCumberbatch is actually six feet tall.
* GreenEyedMonster: Towards Douglas, who looks the part of an airline captain in addition to having the skills. Also towards the actor Martin in "Rotterdam."
* GrewASpine: Series 4 shows him being somewhat more assertive and confident.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex
* LawfulStupid: When it comes to safety, to the point where he even [[ItMakessenseInContext refuses to allow an imaginary otter into the flight deck]].
* MaybeEverAfter: May or may not end up with Princess Theresa since the two have gone on some dates together and like each other, hopefully giving Martin a EarnYourHappyEnding.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Despite being a stickler for safety and professionalism, Martin is occasionally seen indulging his sense of humour during his cabin addresses on cargo flights, and goes out of his way to throw an improvised Christmas party for Arthur in the flight deck.
* PerpetualPoverty
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: The Sensitive Guy to Douglas's Manly Man.
* SicklyNeuroticGeek: Has an "abnormality of the inner ear" that makes him reluctant to go swimming without earplugs in "Ipswitch", worries that being able to smell bacon might be a sign of impending doom in "Xinzhou", and plays up his injury to get out of hard work in "Ottery St. Mary".
* SmallNameBigEgo: Makes a big deal of the fact that he's an airline captain.
* TheUnfavourite: Always in the shadow of his elder brother Simon, and often bickers with his sister Caitlin, a traffic warden. However at the end of "Wokingham", his mother informs him that the whole family have always been proud of him, especially Simon.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Martin's late father tried to steer him away from becoming a pilot after he repeatedly failed his exams. Martin deeply regrets that his father never got to see him fulfill his dream.
* {{Workaholic}}

!First Officer Douglas Richardson (Roger Allam)
* AcePilot
* BerserkButton: The fact that Martin caught him pretending to be the airline's captain to impress his wife.
* BrilliantButLazy
* BrokenAce: Downplayed because it's a comedy, but Douglas is a former alcoholic who has had a total of three unsuccessful marriages [[spoiler: and his most recent wife cheated on him with a Tai Chi instructor]].
* BornLucky
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Carolyn is fully aware of his love of {{Zany Scheme}}s, disregard for rules, and tendency to steal expensive whiskey, but he remains employed because of his skill as a pilot, as well as his general talent for getting MJN out of virtually any kind of trouble.
%% commented out as ZeroContextExample * CaptainObvious: A case of TropesAreNotBad- he does it in the most gloriously snarky way possible, and it's kind of a necessity in order to convey to the audience what's happening given the format.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: It's camouflaged by his impressive [[ExpospeakGag vocabulary]], [[InsufferableGenius intellect]], and [[DeadpanSnarker snark,]] but Douglas certainly has a bizarre sense of humour and a rather wacky imagination- his story about St Mary being eaten by otters is a good example, as are most of his cabin addresses and word games.
* CozyVoiceForCatastrophes: As evidenced by episode one, scene one.
-->Just to let you know weíre making our final approach now into what I am ''fairly'' sure is Fitton Airfield. Unless itís a farm. Or just possibly the A45. Itís not the sea, because ''that''ís blue...
* DeadpanSnarker
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: His highly sarcastic cabin address in the cold opening to "Abu Dhabi", given in spite of the fact he knows that there are no passengers on the plane.
* ExpospeakGag
* GreenEyedMonster: Towards Hercules.
* GuileHero
* InsufferableGenius
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold
* LargeAndInCharge: Subverted. Most people assume he's the captain because of his age and height.
* KarmaHoudini
* MacGyvering: Many of his {{Zany Scheme}}s involve a form of this, most notably his solution in St. Petersburg.
* ManipulativeBastard: Particularly towards Martin.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: when GERTI unexpectedly [[spoiler: 'uses one of her engines to make a goose smoothie']], both the fact that Douglas yells 'CHRIST!' in a genuinely shocked tone, and that he immediately becomes very professional and supportive of Martin alert us to just how perilous the situation is.
* SelfProclaimedLiar:
-->I cannot tell a lie. What am I saying? I'm ''terrific'' at telling lies.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan: The Manly to Martin's Sensitive.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Possibly, depending on how canon [[WordOfDante the cast picture]] is. Roger Allam has dark hair, so most fans tend to assume that this applies to Douglas as well. Douglas's height, however, and his snark especially, fit this trope to a tee.
* [[spoiler: TheTeetotaler]]: Revealed at the end of "Fitton."
* TheAce
* TheCasanova: in his younger days.
* {{Troll}}
* UltimateJobSecurity: An awful lot of his behaviour -- including low-flying GERTI over some polar bears having accidentally left the cabin address on so everyone on board can hear Martin screaming at him to stop and stealing from the CEO at least once a year -- should at least get him suspended or disciplined. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the fact that there isn't an alternative given MJN is an OddlySmallOrganisation, and he is very good at getting them out of tight spots at very short notice.
* WeaselCoWorker: Zigzagged. Douglas is certainly sneaky and a slacker, and often winds up getting Martin in more trouble than himself, but he is highly competent as a pilot, and is often the one who winds up bailing MJN out when trouble strikes.

!Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole)
* BerserkButton: Hates being called or treated as "an old lady."
* DeadpanSnarker: Almost as much so as Douglas. The two often engage in SnarkToSnarkCombat.
* MeanBoss: Certainly in the earlier seasons, although Series 4 has her [[PetTheDog being much nicer towards Martin.]]
* NeverMessWithGranny: And while you're at it, you probably shouldn't call her "granny."
* {{Tsundere}}: Behaves this way towards Herc.

!Arthur Shappey (John Finnemore)
* {{Adorkable}}
* BadLiar: In "Kuala Lumpur".
* BerserkButton: Do NOT upset his mother.
* TheDitz
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: '''Yes'''.
* ManChild
* SelfInducedAllergicReaction: By eating dragonfruit in "Yverdon-Les-Bains."
* StaticCharacter: The only character of the main four not to undergo significant character development over the course of the show.
* ThePollyanna
* TheWatson: He's usually the one to ask the pilots questions related to aviation and aeroplanes, which helps clarify the piece-that's-fallen-off-GERTI-of-the-week for the benefit of the audience. He becomes a much more ''literal'' Watson to [[CluelessDetective Martin's]] [[ActorAllusion "Sherlock"]] in the episode "Paris."

[[folder:Recurring Characters]]

!Mr Birling (Geoffrey Whitehead)
* AwfulWeddedLife: With his "awful wife" Elizabeth
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney

!Hercules "Herc" Shipwright (Anthony Head)
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: To Douglas.
* AwesomeMcCoolname
* [[GranolaGirl Granola Guy]]: a strict vegetarian, apparently on moral grounds. Carolyn thinks it's because he's afraid that the sheep will come after him for revenge.
* [[WhyDidItHavetoBeSnakes Why Did It Have To Be Sheep?]]

!Princess Theresa of Liechtenstein (Matilda Ziegler)
* DeadpanSnarker: She's got a wicked sense of humour.
* ModestRoyalty: Presumably, since the crew don't recognise her as a princess when they first meet her.