Airline industry - operation metrics

airline operations cases
New answer on Mar 01, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 13, 2020

Today I did a case about the airline industry - should the company set up a transit airport? I didn't manage to solve this case, since I was not familiar with the industry and didn't even think about "loading factor". I used a structure of "benefit / cost" to discuss this case, but wasn't able to "drill down" to realize that having a transit airport could improve the loading factor.

My question is: given the above mention situation, how could I navigate the case? How should I drill down to find that loading factor could be improved, without knowing that loading factor is important for this industry? Also, can I ask what is the "operation metrics" of the airline industry in the beginning of the case, or the interviewer will assume I should know it?

Thanks you!

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Clara
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replied on Feb 13, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

The way I see it, it´s impossible to have insights about all industries. It´s too time consuming, and that time can have a much better ROI in other parts of the prep.

Hence, I wouldn´t spend time specifically studying.

  1. If you practice enaugh (and this means +50 cases), you will came across almost all common industries. This will give you the basic insights for the interviews.
  2. Precisely not to have to study the intrinsics of every industry, it is key to have an approach to cases that is holistic and ambibalent, to ensure it can work with all of them.

This is precisely the focus of my coaching sessions with my coachees, PM if you want.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,
Clara

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Antonello
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replied on Mar 01, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
you are not expected to master all the industries. Only if you have 5+ experience in an industry you will be assessed on it. My recommendation is to practice 40+ cases of various frameworks and industries.

Best,
Antonello

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 14, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with Clara that you don’t need to be an expert in an industry if you are applying for a general position in a consulting company.

This is what I would recommend to become more familiar with different sectors:

  1. You should do at least 30 cases before your interview. Doing so, you will probably cover the majority of the main industries (banking, consumer goods, digital, public sector, industrial goods, etc)
  2. When you find a case in an industry you are not familiar with, you should increase the number of cases related to that sector (simply read through good casebooks – casebooks are not good for structuring but can help to develop creativity)
  3. If you find a sector you are not familiar with, you should ask the right clarifying questions at the beginning. With the right questions, you should be able to crack cases even in industries you are not familiar with. An interviewer doesn’t expect you are an expert in every industry; however, he/she expects that you able to collect the right information when needed

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
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updated an answer on Feb 13, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

First of all, it's called Load Factor

Secondly, that's why I stress the importance of getting industry knowledge and share a lot of industry knowledge on the sessions with my candidates.

Thirdly, the best source of knowledge will be the annual company reports (10K). Just pick a couple of major airlines

Finally, pls check those books:

  • Global Airlines: Competition in a Transnational Industry, Third Edition by Pat Hanlon - so far the best one
  • The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance by Jody Hoffer Gittell - also can be useful

Best

(edited)

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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