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Airline Consulting

Overview

For more than 25 years, L.E.K. has helped its airline clients improve their financial performance across all aspects of their strategic and operations issues. We are a pioneer in developing and growing low-cost carriers, structuring loyalty programs, developing ancillary revenue and merchandising programs for both full-service and low-cost carriers, developing new products and services, and optimizing LOPA. We count half of the world’s top 15 airlines as our clients, and have been involved in some of the industry’s most successful mergers and acquisitions. For example, we were the only strategic advisor on the world’s largest airline merger.

Our core capabilities support an airline’s entire operation. This includes airline M&A and consolidation, areas in which where our pedigree goes back more than 25 years. Our airline strategy capabilities span all commercial issues, including network planning and expansion, distribution, corporate dealing, sales force effectiveness, loyalty programs, ancillary revenues, product development, customer experience and engagement, and e-commerce. In the past five years alone, L.E.K. has led ancillary revenue and merchandising initiatives at five global carriers and four U.S. domestic carriers, solidifying our depth of customer flight expertise. In the area of consumer engagement beyond the cabin, we have revitalized underperforming loyalty programs and have helped launch groundbreaking customer-focused initiatives for two of the world’s top three airline loyalty programs.

On the operational side, we help our airline clients improve their overall efficiency through improved asset utilization, crew resource planning and utilization, OTP, fleet scheduling, flight planning and fuel optimization, airport operations (both above and below wing), OCC, maintenance and engineering, and overall cost-reduction initiatives. We provide clients with the toolkit of key performance indicators and metrics that embed an ongoing culture of operational improvement.

Client Issues

In today’s fast-changing and uncertain airline landscape, it is important for airline executives to ask themselves a number of critical questions, including:

  • As a full-service carrier, how can we tap into the financial benefits of ancillary revenues, without jeopardizing our overall value proposition and brand?
  • How can we select the right non-airline partners, in order to assure that we get full value out of our frequent flyer program? At the same time, how can we correctly incentivize the best segment of travelers?
  • Do we have the optimal LOPA on our aircraft and what, if anything, is the potential benefit of introducing a premium economy offering?
  • How do we take our ancillary revenues to the next level in order to drive even more bottom-line performance?
  • How efficient are our operations?
  • With the advent of onboard connectivity, how can we capture the significant, untapped customer and financial benefits without letting them all pass to the suppliers?

Examples of Our Work

We complement our airline industry experience with practices that serve adjacent industries including Aerospace, Travel & Tour­ism, Retail & Consumer Products, and Media & Entertainment – and we understand how airlines can leverage opportunities in these markets. Our heritage in consumer-focused sectors pro­vides L.E.K. with proven consumer behavior models that identify untapped opportunities and introduce successful new products and services to airline consumers.

To learn more about how we help our clients, please refer to these case examples.

Please contact us at aviation@lek.com for additional information.