Kearney expands aviation sector with four hires

10 May 2023 4 min. read
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Kearney, a global management consultancy, has enhanced its service capability for aviation sector clients in the Americas with the hiring of four experts: Scott Davidson, Claudia Galea, Umang Gupta, and Chandresh Malkani.

The quartet of new hires join the firm’s transportation practice, which focuses on advisory offerings in supply chain, sustainability, maintenance, and operations management. The Chicago-headquartered consultancy has previously advised numerous airlines in the European market.

Kearney in a press release said the move demonstrates its “commitment to growing its aviation capability on a global scale.”

“The aviation sector is in need of a transformation,” said Phillip Bensel, partner and global lead for Kearney's aviation team. “The sector is experiencing strong tailwinds but is facing even stronger headwinds. We are supporting our clients to help tackle these challenges by improving the customer experience, developing green products, optimizing network and operations, managing supply chain risk, and reducing cost."

Scott Davidson (partner, Chicago) has more than 15 years of experience providing strategic advice to aviation, aerospace, and mobility clients. He has expertise in enterprise-wide profit transformations, restructuring, customer experience enhancements, operations excellence, procurement support, and technology-led innovation.

He joins Kearney from Accenture, where he was a managing director. Before that he spent over 13 years at Seabury Consulting – an aviation consultancy that was acquired by Accenture in 2021 – where he was a partner.

He holds a master's degree in engineering management from Dartmouth College and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Fairfield University.

Kearney expands aviation sector with four hires

Claudia Galea (global sustainability director for aerospace and defense, Washington, DC) has more than 20 years of experience in aviation, aerospace, and industrials. She has expertise across sustainability, aftermarket and procurement, flight operations and optimization, and manufacturing process improvement.

Galea joins from Accenture, where she spent over three years as global sustainability leader for aerospace, defense, and industrials. Before that, she spent eight years at Boeing, where she was a senior manager in the firm’s business consulting unit.

Earlier in her career, Galea was an airline pilot and senior first officer at Air Malta. She has MBA degrees from Duke University and Warwick Business School as well as a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Malta.

Umang Gupta (partner, Chicago) brings more than 20 years of aviation industry and consulting experience, with expertise in revenue improvement, cost reduction, operational efficiency, and turnaround.

He joins Kearney from Alton Aviation Consultancy, where he spent two years as global head of the airline practice. Before that, Gupta was managing director of pricing and revenue management at United Airlines and president of JetBlue Vacations.

Earlier in his career, he was manager of operations research at US Airways and a consultant at Sabre Airline Solutions. Gupta has a master’s degree in transportation and airline management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from INSEAD, and a bachelor’s degree from Punjab Engineering College.

Chandresh Malkani (partner, Chicago) has more than 20 years of industry and consulting experience in aviation, having led international projects in engineering, operations, finance, and technology.

He joins Kearney from Oliver Wyman, where he spent over four years and was latterly a principal working on strategy and operations engagements with aviation clients. Before that, Malkani spent 11 years at United Airlines, where he was latterly director of fleet planning and strategy.

He began his career at Delta Airlines, were he was program manager in analysis and forecasting and a senior engineer in the propulsion engineering group.

Malkani has an MBA from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

"Our entire team is thrilled to join such a talented and experienced firm to expand the focus on serving the needs of the aviation sector," Davidson said. "Airlines and other related businesses face significant headwinds due to cost pressures, shifting customer demands, labor constraints, new sustainability expectations, and legacy technology. Our focus is on helping them accelerate change by partnering from strategy design through to implementation at scale."