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Steve Saxon

Expert Partner, Shenzhen
Assists airline and shipping companies with his deep expertise by developing distinctive strategies and improving commercial performance

About Steve

Steve leads our travel, transportation, and logistics work in China. He helps clients achieve new levels of performance, with deep expertise in shipping, ports, and airlines.

His recent work has included supporting a successful merger in container shipping, building a China-focused cruise product, and building the turnaround plan for a major Asian airline. He designed a joint venture for a leading port player, and growth strategies for multiple ports across Asia. He has expertise in airline commercial performance: Steve has led revenue-management transformation for several Asian airlines, and he has helped airlines rethink their loyalty programs for growth.

Steve joined McKinsey in London in 2000 and transferred to Asia in 2005. He is currently based in Singapore and China, and his work covers the Asia region.

Steve is a sought-after expert and regularly speaks at shipping and airline conferences. He is currently leading McKinsey’s knowledge development on the Chinese outbound consumer.

Published work

Airline data: What next beyond crisis response?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Data will decide success in the next normal of bulk and tanker shipping,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Will airline hubs recover from COVID-19?,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

What can other countries learn from China’s travel recovery path?,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Reimagining the $9 trillion tourism economy—what will it take?,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

China’s travel recovery gains steam: How families are planning their summer vacations,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

The way back: What the world can learn from China’s travel restart after COVID-19,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Coronavirus: Airlines brace for severe turbulence,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

Viking Cruises founder Torstein Hagen: How tailoring experiences for Chinese tourists drives growth,” McKinsey & Company, March 2020

How Chinese airlines can brace for impending turbulence,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019

Taking on airlines’ toughest challenges,” McKinsey & Company, January 2019

Huānyíng to the new Chinese traveler,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

Miles ahead: How to improve airline customer-loyalty programs,” McKinsey & Company, October 2018

Does your airline still cross seat belts? A ten-point lean checklist for leaders,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018

Container shipping: More mergers, better mergers,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

How container shipping could reinvent itself for the digital age,” McKinsey & Company, October 2017

The alliance shuffle and consolidation: Implications for shippers,” McKinsey & Company, January 2017

How to rethink pricing at container terminals,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

Gridlock on the ground: How airlines can respond to airport congestion,” McKinsey & Company, August 2015

Landside operations: The next frontier for container-shipping alliances,” McKinsey & Company, April 2015

The hidden opportunity in container shipping,” McKinsey & Company, November 2014

China’s airlines: Flying higher,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

“Getting more value from your fleet,” McKinsey on Finance, Spring 2012


Cambridge University
MA, computer science