Gebr. Heinemann creates newly streamlined inflight and cruise division

By Luke Barras-hill |

 Gebr. Heinemann’s Oliver Gottschling.

Hamburg-headquartered Gebr. Heinemann has merged its sales function for the inflight and cruise retail channels, effective this month.

The move consolidates the travel retailer’s European cruise and airline businesses into one single department.

Oliver Gottschling, Sales Director Inflight & Catering, assumes a broadened remit as Sales Director Inflight & Cruises EMEA, leading 45 Heinemann personnel, TRBusiness has learned.

He will continue to report to Chief Sales Officer Florian Seidel.

A merger for growth

“Our cruise and inflight businesses operate in similar niche markets where we each have outstanding expertise,” he told TRBusiness. “In areas such as crew and passenger engagement, speciality assortments and logistics, the new team will be able to leverage synergies and work together more efficiently in the future. The merger therefore plays in our growth strategy.”

As reported, revenue from the cruise ships/ ferries and inflight sectors accounted for 5% and 3%, respectively, of Heinemann’s retail business in 2022.

Last year, Heinemann’s management stated at its annual press conference that the company would concentrate on consolidating its cruise business in Miami for a three-year period.

The firm boasts contracts with the likes of Royal Caribbean, including concessions onboard ‘Icon of the Seas’ which sets sail this year, AIDA Cruises, MSC Cruises, Color Line and Fjord Line.

While the airline retail business was hit hard by the pandemic, inflight is regaining its momentum with Heinemann winning key tenders for Polish airline LOT and Uzbekistan Airways in recent years.

Heinemann extended its contract with Ryanair last year for a further two years, as revealed by TRBusiness, strengthening an alliance dating more than two decades.

In a LinkedIn post, Gottschling added: “Looking forward to further shaping our value proposition towards customers and partners in these exciting channels – grateful for doing this with an outstanding team!”

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