A decision support system for supplier selection in the airline industry

F. T.S. Chan, H. K. Chan, R. W.L. Ip, H. C.W. Lau

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Supplier selection has increasingly been regarded as one of the most important strategies in the globalization era. While many companies require different resources from the supply market, airline companies require supplies of parts and repair and maintenance services. The suppliers of these products and services are regarded as critical for the industry. With the multidimensional nature of the problem, supplier selection involves both tangible and intangible selection criteria. This paper presents a case study on solving the supplier selection problem in the airline industry through a decision support system that employs the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). The system was implemented with the aid of the commercial software package Expert Choice. The significance of the study is to provide a new platform for airline companies in selecting suppliers on the basis of the proposed decision support system, which was tested with a Hong Kong-based airline company during the course of development. In addition, the model highlights the areas of most concern to airline companies in supplier selection. Unlike many similar studies, sensitivity analysis has been performed in order to improve the robustness of the results, and to understand the importance of different criteria with respect to the selected decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-758
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Airline industry
  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Case study
  • Decision support system
  • Supplier selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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