Heinemann seals Ryanair inflight contract extension

By Luke Barras-hill |

Ryanair handled more than 18.9m passengers in August and this month added an extra 1.6 million seats across 660 routes for 15 Dec – 8 Jan in response to strong Christmas travel demand. Source: Ryanair.

Gebr. Heinemann has extended its contract with low-cost carrier Ryanair to operate its inflight business for at least two more years, TRBusiness can reveal.

The renewed concession, which is understood to cover the entire product offering, was granted in recent months following productive negotiations with Ryanair, the Hamburg-headquartered travel retailer has confirmed.

The partnership dates back more than a decade, the last extension of which was granted for five years in 2018.

“In 2022, Ryanair was the airline with the highest number of passengers in Europe and they are aiming to further growth,” said Florian Seidel, Chief Sales Officer and Executive Board Member, Gebr. Heinemann.

“Therefore, we do see great potential, which we want to approach together with our partner.”

Ryanair offers onboard duty free via its ‘Runway Retail’ inflight magazine, available to download online or via app.

Florian Seidel, Chief Sales Officer, Gebr. Heinemann.

Inflight ‘gaining momentum’

Onboard DF&TR was hit particularly hard by the pandemic and faced a challenging climate in the years leading up to it, with a tranche of carriers either re-evaluating their approach to airline duty free or suspending/cancelling programmes altogether.

Despite this, Heinemann secured tender victories for Polish airline LOT and Uzbekistan Airways in 2022 and believes the channel is demonstrating new momentum.

Sales from the inflight segment contributed a 3% share of Heinemann’s total revenue in 2022.

Seidel maintains that the inflight market remains “integral” to the Heinemann business, pointing to the bounceback in passenger volumes having a positive effect on the segment.

“We are happy to see that people still enjoy travelling as increasing passenger numbers show,” he continued.

“For us, this channel will remain an integral part of our business. That’s why we also invested again in our Airline Forum in 2023 – an event which only focuses on this sales channel. And it was again very well received by representatives of the industry.”

Watch out for the TRBusiness Top 10 International Operators report, available at the forthcoming TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, for an in-depth report on Gebr. Heinemann.

Ryanair images source: Ryanair.

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