How we helped

After COVID-19's disruptions to the airline industry, climbing back to cruising altitude was a profound challenge. Airlines had seen revenue nosedive during shutdowns, and for a major European airline group, improving the cost base was the top priority. 

AlixPartners came on to mitigate the impact of the pandemic travel dip and to strengthen the group’s procurement team, which oversaw an opaque spiderweb of spending across the group’s subsidiary airlines. Complicating matters, inflation was still elevated and many suppliers were in distress. 

Our team of aerospace experts focused on harnessing the opportunities within a group-led strategy, analyzing everything from contract reviews and modeling, benchmarking, service levels, and spend dimensions and drivers, to a new tender for ground services. We mobilized three improvement streams: engine engineering and maintenance, ground handling and hub operations, and spend visibility. 

We achieved substantial savings across these areas, reaching pre-pandemic cost levels for ground handling, and generating tens of millions of euros in savings on hub costs. Going forward, data gaps and inconsistencies were made visible, with programs in place to manage procurement analytics. From the gate to the sky, our work lightened the load on a stressed post-pandemic cost calculus. 

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