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Air transport practice in major consultancies

#1 Air transport practice in major consultancies
28/02/2007 16:40


Hi all,

I have a Masters in air transport management and have worked in a small but well established aviation concultancy in the UK.

I'm wondering if anyone here can share some information about which major consulting firms have an extensive air transport practice? Any help would be much appreciated.

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#2 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
28/02/2007 17:32

Cranfield98 to spyros (#1)

HI Cranfield Grad

Consulting Firms with pure Air Transport Practices:


Mercer (US)

Roland Berger (Ger)

The ones that say they have it but in reality they don't (i.e. they have a general transportation practice and do aviation as well)









The ones that would employ you if you bring business (They still say that they do aviation...)




PA Consulting

EC Harris

... and many more

The IT Guys:






.... as you can see there is plenty on paper, but in reality ... it sucks!

A word of advice. I assume you are an aviation nutter as I am. Unless you want to have a very frustrating career stay away from most of the 2nd tier companies as they struggle big time in aviation. And of the first tier I would only consider MBBB (if anything for your CV).

Get into industry... trust me. I have changed 4 Consulting companies in 7 years and can't wait to get out!!

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#3 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
05/03/2007 15:43

Spyros to Cranfield98 (#2)

Hi mate,

Good guess, indeed I'm also a Cranfield graduate and it's always nice to hear from your alumni. Thanks for the advice, it's really helpful especially since it sounds like you've had plenty of experience in aviation consulting.

I've heard good things about OC&C PA Consulting and I'm planning to apply, McKinsey is also a top priority especially as they have a travel & logistics practice in their Greek office. I've thought about airline positions, not that interested in airports, but in Greece only Aegean offers some good prospects and there's no chance I'm going to return to the UK for the airline salaries there.

So you are saying that Mercer and Ronald Berger only have aviation in the US and Germany, respectively?

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#4 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
06/03/2007 16:08

Cranfield98 to Spyros (#3)

Okay... I can clearly see you need some good advice.

First of all forget PA. I worked there in 2001-2003 when they had a transportation practice mostly US based. PA is a good company if you work for the right group/practice. They still say that they have a transport practice but in reality they don't. They have zero credentials (latest is 2003 and they have zero aviation consultants). All aviation consultants left in 03/04. Now, i know for a fact that they are trying to recruit again (as they contacted me) but if you are lucky you end up working for GPS or POC and you would be expected to do government or other work. So, if you want to do aviation work ... avoid at all costs. My time at PA was the most frustrating experience of my life.

OC&C is a small but good company but again they do not have a pure aviation focus.

Mck, anytime mate... no matter for what group/practice... if anything just to have their name on your CV.

If you want to go back to Greece you might have some problems, especially at the beginning as the big guys might want you to be based where the group/practice is headquartered (MCK aviation group is in Zurich). After a couple of years you can easily pick and choose where you want to live.

Another good company is Booz, especially if you would be keen to work in the ME (UAE, Lebanon, etc.).

RB and Mercer, yes their practices are headquartered in GER and US but you can easily applyb for their London office. Problem is that unless you are staffed on aviation projects you might be required to work on other areas and the furtherst you are from the base the harder it is to get on projects especially at the beginning.

Trust me, forget consulting and get a job with EZY or VS. Less money but... a better life.

... for the right job I would cut my paycheck in half.

P.S. which consulting firm did you work for in the UK?

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#5 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
06/03/2007 18:02

Roger to spyros (#1)

BEARINGPOINT are trying to develop this space. Good airline experience, less so in airport management. Christian Petschke is key contact person for EMEA Aviation Team - he is based in BearingPoint Germany.

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#6 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
06/03/2007 19:04

Cranfield98 to Roger (#5)

They are all trying to develop this space... On the back of good performance from airlines, all the consulting firms that closed down their aviation group are trying to jump on this big time.

All they want is people bringing contacts and business into practices that are mainly virtual.

A word of caution... if you approach them make sure you ask:

- how many dedicated aviation consultants have they got?

- list of clients and type of work (RECENT)?

- what capabilities/or product portfolio they have got specifically in aviation

For example, PA would claim that BA is one of their customers... true ... but what they do not tell you is that they only do IT work through a Design Partner Framework agreement. And believe you me this has got nothing to do with aviation - hence you will never be able to get on a project because the only thing BA requires is IT skills from a company that they only see in the IT space.

And the same is valid for a number of the other big SI or 2nd tier.

In my 7 years as an aviation consultant I have never come against Bearingpoint... maybe they do some work (?) in Germany... but what type of work?

To cut the long story short, If I cannot persuade you to stay away from MC I would rank them like that:

1) MBBB first chioce (they do aviation but if you end up doind something else it doesn't matter)

2) LEK, RB, OC&C, Mercer

3) SH&E or some other boutique such as SDG


5) anybody else including ACN & Deloitte

6) stay away from PA, Capgemini

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#7 RE: Air transport practice in major consultancies
15/03/2007 14:57

Spyros to Cranfield98 (#4)

I was working in rdc (Route Developmemt Company) in Leicester. They are a small player but the work was great, ranging from route and network forecasts to new base evaluation for LCCs. I would have stayed but Leicester gets quite boring after a couple of years plus I had to go back to Greece to do my miliray duty.

Much obliged about your very useful advice, I think you paint a pretty accurate picture as I've heard similar things from other people in the industry.

By the way, what's happening with IB and air transport? My thesis was about the stock market and airlines, so I'm quite interested in that area but I haven't seen any relative ads, e.g. equity research-aviation.

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