This study focuses on informal relationships between airlines and suppliers in managing disruptions in the airline ground operation process during peak times in the summer seasons. In this context, the study investigates the change between actors’ formal and informal networks after they face disruptions in the airline ground operation process and their informal exchanges in this process. Antalya Airport was chosen as the research area since it is a leader airport for especially non-scheduled flights during the summer seasons in Turkey. The study was carried out as network research and the network data were collected through face-to-face meetings with actors (17 airlines and 13 suppliers) directly involved in the airline ground operation process. The study reveals that although there are formal contracts between the actors, managers are able to prefer their informal relationships based on close friendships rather than formal networks for the immediate solution of problems in crisis times. In addition, the severity of the disruptions affects the level of the contacted position and there is a direct proportion between them. Moreover, although some actors do not have formal contracts with each other, they can informally and mutually exchange, and they do not bill these exchanges' costs in these crisis periods.


This study is based on a PhD dissertation titled "The Role of Organizational Networks in Managing the Disruptions in the Airline Ground Operation Process" completed at Anadolu University Graduate School of Social Sciences under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Senem Besler in 2021. No specific grant was given to this research by funding organizations.



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