Heinemann raises toast to 50-year duty free alliance with Frankfurt Airport

By Luke Barras-hill |

Gebr. Heinemann Duty Free shop in the 1970s. While the travel retailer is celebrating five decades of shop operations at Frankfurt Airport, a state-run duty free counter first opened in 1958 with goods supplied by Heinemann.

Gebr. Heinemann has praised its collaboration with Frankfurt Airport (FRA) after celebrating half a century of business.

The Hamburg-based travel retailer opened duty free shops at Frankfurt Airport on 14 March 1972 in line with the inauguration of Terminal 1.

Today, the company runs 30 shops over a total sales area of approximately 12,000sq m and employs 640 staff at its airport operation.

Claus Heinemann, Co-owner, Gebr. Heinemann, stated: “We are very proud of the long-standing and trusting cooperation with Frankfurt Airport; it is the basis of our joint success.

“The airport is one of the first locations where we made the leap from wholesaler to airport retailer. It is wonderful to see how the business has developed here in Frankfurt over five decades: From small shops with service counters to walk-through self-service shops to luxury brand boutiques or innovative concepts like our ‘Beauty Store’.

“Both the airport and our employees here on site in Frankfurt have always offered us outstanding support along the way.”


In 2017, Heinemann founded Frankfurt Airport Retail (FAR) in a joint venture with Fraport AG.

The enterprise operates all of the airport’s duty free and travel value shops, plus luxury boutiques and premium shops such as Hermès, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent Paris and Boss.

Heinemann Duty Free & Travel Value walkthrough store at Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1.

Heinemann says launching the company’s own shops in Terminal 1 five decades ago laid the foundation for the ‘future-oriented partnership’ it enjoys with Fraport.

However, the cooperation between the Hamburg-based travel retailer and Frankfurt Airport began much earlier: the first duty free counter at a German airport opened in Frankfurt in 1958. It was operated by the state and the goods were supplied by Gebr. Heinemann.


News of Heinemann’s anniversary with Frankfurt Airport comes on a day when operator Fraport AG reports its fiscal year 2021 results, with Group revenue up 27.8% to €2.14 billion/US$2.34 billion.

Group EBITDA returned to positive territory, reaching €757m.

A total of 24.8 million passengers were handled by Frankfurt Airport, an increase of +32% year-on-year (though the result was 65% down on 2019 passenger traffic).

While global travel restrictions dampened pax demand in 2021, volumes began to pick up over the course of the year and notably during the summer.

In 2022, and considering the current geopolitical turmoil in Europe, Fraport’s Executive Board estimates traffic at Frankfurt Airport to range between approximately 39 million to 46 million travellers – a 55-65% share of pre-crisis (2019) passenger levels.

Group revenue is projected to reach around €3bn and Group EBITDA is expected to range between €760m and €880m.

Group net profit is expected to reach between €50m and €150m.

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