BAA founder Linus Benjamin Bauer on the firm's flight to growth

15 February 2023 11 min. read
More news on

Now in its third year in business, Bauer Aviation Advisory (BAA) has since its inception grown into a familiar name in the aviation consulting landscape. As the dust settles on its expansion into Asia Pacific, we sat down with founder and managing partner Linus Benjamin Bauer to discuss the firm’s take-off and competitive edge in the market.

Linus, to start, how do you look back at the firm’s journey?

Our firm was established two and half years ago with the vision of providing tailor-made solutions of high quality to our clients from the aviation industry and partners from the consulting industry. During this period, we have faced many challenges and opportunities. Despite that, we have remained committed to our goals and values, which have allowed us to scale up our business and evolve.

We started with a small team, limited resources, and few setbacks. But through hard work, dedication, having a very supportive and diversified advisory board, and a focus on delivering exceptional results, we have expanded our platform of aviation experts and our reach.

Linus Benjamin Bauer, Founder, Bauer Aviation Advisory

Our client and partner base has grown significantly, and we have established strong relationships with many businesses in both industries: aviation and consulting.

As we have grown, we have also continued to invest in new a new operating model (e.g. on-demand expert platform), processes, and methodologies, to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to our clients and partners. We have also made a conscious effort to prioritize transparency, communication, and a focus on client/partner satisfaction, which has been critical to our success.

Overall, it has been a challenging but rewarding journey, and we are proud of the progress we have made over the past two and a half years. We are excited about the future and look forward to continuing to serve our clients and partners and make a positive impact in both industries.

BAA’s flight path has been full of challenges, from industry disruption and economic turbulence to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, the firm has managed to grow – what has been the key to the success?

The key to the success of our boutique consulting firm in such a challenging environment for the aviation sector has been our unwavering commitment to delivering high-quality solutions and services to our clients from the aviation industry and partners (management and boutique consulting firms).

We have always been focused on providing the best possible support to help our clients and partners navigate the challenges they face, and this has been especially important in recent years as the aviation sector has undergone significant change. It is also the case with the management consulting industry.

One of the key factors that have helped us grow into a 75-strong team and network is our ability to attract and retain the best talent in the industry. We have a dedicated and knowledgeable team of subject-matter experts with an average of over 15+ years of industry experience who are passionate about helping our partners and clients achieve their goals, and this has been a critical factor in our success.

In addition, we have always placed a strong emphasis on building strong relationships with our partners and clients, and this has allowed us to develop a deep understanding of their needs and challenges. This has enabled us to provide tailored and effective solutions that help our partners and clients achieve their goals and succeed in a constantly changing and challenging environment.

Finally, our approach to continuous improvement has also been critical to our success. We have always been focused on reflection, staying ahead of the curve, and developing new tailor-made solutions that help our partners and clients stay ahead of the competition. This has allowed us to stay relevant and continue to grow even in the most challenging environment for the aviation sector.

In 2022, BAA was involved in a dozen consulting projects at clients and delivered a record number of placements to consultancies. What are engagements and impacts you’re most proud of?

Our firm is proud of several initiatives, engagements, and impacts that have contributed to this success.

An exceptional engagement that we are proud of is the successful development of a comprehensive aviation strategy for the government of a country in Asia Pacific with a 200+ million population, which has helped them build a path to a better and more sustainable future for the country’s aviation sector.

This project involved extensive market research, the development of new methodologies, a large set of various analyses spanning from aviation policies and aviation infrastructure to air connectivity, a series of different workshops with stakeholders, and the creation of a detailed plan to properly implement the initiatives and reach milestones effectively.

Last year, we’ve worked with one of our partners and the client, a corporation in the Kingdom's aviation sector (Saudi Arabia). The scope of our work was to co-design a new department overseeing and managing all the group-wide projects across all business units, streamline existing project management-related processes (PMO), and develop a new on-demand consulting model for the client – in order to benefit from both: In-house and external consulting capabilities.

In addition, we are proud of the positive impact that our work has had on our clients' bottom lines (airlines). Our strong combination of methodological, functional, and core domain expertise as one of our USPs have enabled us to deliver results for our clients in the aviation sector. This has not only helped them achieve their goals but also built trust in our ability to deliver high-quality services.

Finally, we are proud of the strong relationships that we have built with our clients and partners. Our core team and experts from our global pool take pride in working closely with clients and partners to understand their specific needs and delivering customized solutions that meet their unique challenges. This approach has helped us build long-lasting partnerships and a reputation as a trusted advisor in both industries.

From an on-demand perspective, we are proud of the high utilization rate of our global pool (84% in 2022), and ending the year 2022 with 86 placements (deployment of subject-matter experts to support global management and other boutique consulting firms in aviation-related projects).

In terms of winning work in the market, what are you seeing as the main reasons why partners and clients tap BAA instead of larger rivals?

Considering our hybrid operating model and approach (direct consulting services with clients and an on-demand platform), we clearly differentiate ourselves from the traditional consulting firms.

By cooperating with top-tier management and other boutique consulting firms, we unlock the competitive advantage for both. Our global platform of aviation experts enables management consulting and other boutique firms to build additional capabilities and buy-in competencies by using our platform to access highly skilled subject-matter experts with a clear focus on aviation.

On the other hand, the following five reasons are our keys to winning direct consulting work in the aviation market:

Tailored solutions
Our firm offers customized solutions that are tailored to each client's specific needs and goals, while larger rivals may offer a one-size-fits-all approach.

Personalized attention
Our firm provides a high level of personal attention and dedicated support to each of our clients, which sets us apart from larger firms that may not have the same level of engagement.

Our experts from the global pool have a deep level of understanding and expertise in a specific area of the aviation business, which gives us a competitive advantage over larger firms that may have broader, but less focused expertise.

Our firm is highly flexible and adaptable, allowing us to quickly respond to changes in the market and meet our clients' and partners‘ evolving needs. Larger firms may have more bureaucratic structures, which can hinder their ability to respond quickly.

Our firm operates with a leaner overhead, allowing us to offer highly competitive pricing to our clients, while still providing services of high quality.

Our clients and partners choose our firm because we speak both languages (aviation and consulting) and offer a unique combination of personalized attention, expertise, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness that sets us apart from larger rivals. Additionally, our on-demand model also allows them to be more agile and responsive in an ever-changing business landscape.

How do you feel BAA’s agile operating model plays into the changing nature of work in consulting?

I can say that the market trend towards industry-focused and hybrid work models (e.g., on-demand talent/expert platform) in consulting plays a significant role in adapting to the changing nature of work. The shift towards specialization and industry-focused approaches allows consulting firms to provide more targeted and relevant solutions to clients, which is becoming increasingly important in an ever-evolving and dynamic business landscape.

In the future, management consulting firms and other organizations will increasingly rely on the ‘on-demand’ workforce to bring in key skills and expertise while remaining flexible in an uncertain environment. Furthermore, the on-demand work model, which blends traditional consulting services with value-added solutions, is also a reflection of the changing nature of work in consulting.

Therefore, I’m a firm believer in the transformational potential of future on-demand work in management consulting firms and the role we play as the solution provider for aviation consulting.

The industry-focused and hybrid models in consulting demonstrate a clear alignment with the changing nature of consulting work in industries like aviation. By staying ahead of the curve and continuously adapting to new trends, we can continue to provide value-added services to their clients and partners and stay relevant in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Finally, last month BAA expanded into Asia Pacific. What motivated this move and where are you seeing synergies between the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific?

We’ve always been focused on expanding our reach globally over a period of time and delivering our services to our clients and partners. The Asia-Pacific region, with its growing economies and increasing demand for consulting services, presented a unique opportunity for us to further advance our objectives.

The move into the APAC market by setting up our presence in Singapore was motivated by a combination of extensive market analysis and increasing demand from clients and partners from countries including Australia, Greater China, and Singapore. Our research showed that there was a gap in the market for high-quality consulting services in the region, and our existing and potential clients and partners were requesting that we expand into this area to better serve their needs.

We are seeing synergies between the GCC and Asia-Pacific in several areas. Firstly, both regions are experiencing significant economic growth, which has created a high demand for consulting services. Additionally, both regions have a similar business culture and a strong emphasis on building trust and relationships, which aligns with our approach to consulting.

With respect to economic growth, changing demographics, the faster adaption of technological advancements, and overall improvement of the business climate, the GCC – East Asia – South-East Asia triangle (including fast-growing aviation markets like India, China, and Indonesia), is well on its path to becoming the powerhouse for aviation and mobility in the long term.

Furthermore, our clients and partners with a base in the GCC market are often looking to expand into the APAC market, and we are well-positioned to support them in this endeavor. This has created new opportunities for us to deliver comprehensive consulting services across multiple regions, providing our clients with a seamless and efficient experience.

Overall, our move into the Asia-Pacific market has been highly strategic and has allowed us to further strengthen our position as one of the leading players in aviation consulting.