The quest to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones is a challenge for all aviation companies. This paper attempts to assist the aviation companies in tackling this challenge by revealing the most important factors that their customers consider to be the most important while making purchasing choices.
Drawing on three separate studies, this paper identifies the most important factors that influence consumers' choice of airlines in an emerging economy context. The first study adopts a qualitative approach with 20 respondents (Max QDA is used for analyzing these data), followed by the second study based on a quantitative survey with 105 participants, and finally, the third study which employs a multi-criteria decision-making technique named fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP) on a sample of 12 expert customers.
The findings of this paper reveal that customer care quality and on-time arrival are the two most important factors that aviation customers consider while making their purchase decisions. In contrast, baggage allowance and fastest route to destination are the two least considered by aviation customers while making their purchasing choices.
This study includes only a geographic-specific segment of passengers. Future studies of consumer preferences in the aviation industry may include consumers belonging to other geographic regions. Furthermore, future studies may segment their sample populations based on factors other than age, the purpose of travel and booking medium.
This investigation attempts to give a rich and holistic understanding of the different factors that influence the aviation choices of consumers of varying segments. This study has significant practical implications as modern-day airlines aim to optimally cater to the needs of their target segments without incurring additional costs on services that consumers do not deem to be as important.
This study highlights the importance attributed to each identified factor by passengers, something that previous research has mostly ignored.
The authors wish to thank Deborah Gray for copy editing an earlier version of the manuscript.
This paper is based on a research that the third author had undertaken for his dissertation project during the third year of his Bachelor's in Business Administration (Hons.) program, under the guidance of the first author.
Banerji, D., Saha, V., Singh, N. and Srivastava, R. (2023), "What are the most important consumer decision factors when choosing an airline? An emerging economy perspective", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 174-197. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-07-2021-0486
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited