Bain's deep air transportation practice expertise, and best practice cross-industry thinking, helps us understand today’s industry challenges across the entire commercial value chain. Our methods have reduced complexity, increased flexibility and improved decision making for our clients. The result: our clients outpace the S&P by four to one.
Bain’s Monthly Global Air Traffic Recovery Scenarios
Subscribe to receive our Air Traffic Forecast in your inbox each month.Subscribe
What We Do
What We Do
Bain's expertise in airline and air transportation and services consulting includes work in the following strategic and operational areas:
- Corporate and business unit growth strategy
- Strategic turnarounds
- Performance improvement and supply chain management
- Labor relations
- Fleet and network optimization
- Information technology
- Customer strategy, including marketing and pricing
- Results Delivery®
We also bring a strong mergers and acquisitions and private equity lens to our work. Collaborating with our Private Equity group and Mergers & Acquisitions practice experts, we can help clients evaluate potential deals through due diligence and execute M&A and post-merger integration.
After several years of heavy losses, efforts by major US airlines to restructure their businesses show signs of paying off. Labor costs as a percent of revenue have declined, load factors have increased substantially and many US majors have grown their share of international flying. Nevertheless, airlines have a lot of work ahead—and need to prepare for industry consolidation—if they expect to earn returns that exceed their cost of capital over a full business cycle.
In Europe, as low-cost carriers have expanded aggressively, network airlines increasingly compete for the high-yield, long-haul traffic. Consolidation is likely in Europe as well, as airlines are pressed to manage capacity in line with demand and invest in network differentiation.
The long-term winners will be large airline groups that can extract high yields, as well as low-cost carriers that manage to maintain their cultures and their keen focus on affordable air travel. Second-tier carriers face some difficult choices, coming under increasing pressure and subject to the ongoing business cycles in the industry.