A novel MADM approach to the ground-handling agent selection problem in B2B markets

BAKIR M., Ozdemir E., AKAN Ş.

JOURNAL OF ADVANCES IN MANAGEMENT RESEARCH, vol.18, no.5, pp.684-707, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/jamr-05-2020-0069
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.684-707
  • Keywords: Airlines, Ground-handling agent selection, Best worst method, Triangular fuzzy sets, MAIRCA method, C02, L93, R41, SUPPLIER SELECTION, INTEGRATED APPROACH, FUZZY AHP, INNOVATION, MODEL, METHODOLOGY, PERSPECTIVE, PERFORMANCE, MANAGEMENT, INDUSTRY
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose Ground-handling services are important for effective aircraft operations in the air transportation system. Airlines often outsource these services to ground-handling agents through business-to-business (B2B) marketing decisions. Therefore, this paper aims to address the problem of ground-handling agent selection in the airline industry. Design/methodology/approach A real-world case study was carried out to demonstrate the applicability of the integrated best worst method and fuzzy multi-attribute ideal real comparative analysis (F-MAIRCA) approach to solve ground-handling agent selection problems under uncertainty and imprecision. A two-stage sensitivity analysis was also conducted to ensure the credibility and validity of the application. Findings In the weighting stage, "Quality" was determined as the most important criterion in terms of supplier performance. With regard to the performance of the ground-handling agents, A2 was found as the optimal supplier in terms of both credibility and validity. Practical implications This study enumerated several criteria that ground-handling agents must meet in order to effectively supply services for the airlines. In addition, this study provides a novel framework from which managers can gain additional benefits from their businesses. Finally, it is concluded that this approach will help airline managers quantitatively in choosing the most appropriate ground-handling agent. Originality/value The contributions of this study to the existing literature are twofold. First, we propose a novel multiple attribute decision-making approach to address the problem of supplier selection for airlines under uncertainty and imprecision. Second, the selection of ground-handling agents from the B2B perspective is addressed for the first time in literature.