This is a profile image of Hugo Espírito Santo

Hugo Espírito Santo


Hugo Espírito Santo


Leads McKinsey’s Travel, Transport, & Logistics Practice in Portugal and Africa. Passionate about strengthening the aviation sector to drive economic development

Hugo is a partner in McKinsey’s Lisbon office and coleads the development of our work in Angola. He leads our Travel, Transport & Logistics Practice in Portugal as well as in Africa, where he has worked with several governments and major companies to strengthen transportation.

As a particular focus of his work, Hugo supports countries in defining growth strategies for their national aviation sectors, most notably in Africa. A frequent speaker at major forums on African aviation, Hugo advises governments and airlines on market expansion strategies, performance improvement, and development of pan-African partnerships to boost global competitiveness.

In the aviation sector, Hugo has developed expertise in several areas, including corporate strategy, M&A and merger management, large-scale transformations and turnarounds, ground handling, and MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul).

Hugo has designed strategic plans for several airlines and airport managers; evaluated several M&A deals across multiple geographies; defined and helped implement the full merger process for two airlines in record time; and helped shape capital strategies and privatization processes.

He has also designed and implemented a fully-fledged four-year turnaround plan for a national mainline carrier in Africa (and its subsidiaries), developed a turnaround plan for an Indian airline, and implemented a performance transformation for an African airport manager.

In the rail sector, Hugo designed the restructuring plan for a European infrastructure manager; supported a passenger-rail operator in evaluating optimization opportunities; and worked with another rail operator to redefine its strategy.

Past experience

Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics
Assistant professor



Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics
Undergraduate degree in business administration