Tourvest Duty Free, the in-flight retail sales business of Tourvest’s Travel Retail division, has changed its name to Tourvest In-flight Retail Services, in a move that signals its intention to become a dominant player in the global in-flight retail sector.
Chief executive Clive Jones says the name change was one of a series of initiatives that have emerged from a comprehensive strategic review aimed at re-establishing the company as the industry leader. “Other measures include strengthening the management team, expanding our product offering and taking full advantage of technological advancements to keep ahead of the pack.”
Speaking at the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) Asia Pacific Exhibition and Conference in Singapore, which is taking place from 11 to 15 May, Jones says that the in-flight retail sector has in recent years lagged its on-the-ground counterpart in terms of innovation and that the company would be looking to get the industry back on track again. “We see the implementation of our e-commerce strategy as the catalyst that will help us lead the industry into passenger personalisation and direct-to-passenger engagements through a number of initiatives aimed at a wide cross section of passenger contact points,” he says.
Tourvest will include a menu-based solution of services, ranging from a full concession model through to individual elements of its overall value proposition. This will also include a buy-on-board food and beverage solution, which is already in advanced discussions with a European airline.
To give effect to the strategic plans, Jones says the company has strengthened its leadership team through an internal reshuffling of responsibilities, appointments from within the Tourvest group and an external recruitment (see below for details). “This will help us augment our institutional knowledge and expertise while also injecting new perspectives and know-how, which we see as crucial to cement our existing relationships and to attract additional concessions in our existing regions of operations as well as new ones, including Asia and America,” he says. “I have taken the team with me to TFWA in Singapore with a full agenda of meetings confirmed with key suppliers and airlines.”
“We have ambitious plans and the means to achieve them. Our systems and processes are among the best in the world and our team is now an exceptionally strong one. We are in brilliant shape and ready to take the business into its next phase of growth, also sending clear signals to the market that we are the ideal partner to unlock considerable value and innovation in their in-flight retail business.”
Tourvest In-flight Retail Services appointments
Margaret Delaney – general manager: client relationships (Europe). This position has been escalated into an executive level position. Margaret has over 25 years’ experience within the industry, which includes the entire supply chain from warehousing through to in-flight sales.
Joe Harvey – chief sales and marketing officer. Joe headed up the global crew engagement portfolio and now takes on the challenge of leading the business development strategy of the company, globally. Joe has over 10 years’ experience within the in-flight retail industry.
Sara Ebrahim – general manager: human resources. Having moved within the ranks of the business including finance and leading the African Key Account Management teams, before taking on this Executive responsibility. This is a critical role as Tourvest looks to attract, recruit and retain experts in each of its fields to take the business forward.
Wynand Kruger – general manager technology and innovation. Wynand heads up all Tourvest’s new innovation initiatives, with a number of exciting developments in a far-advanced stage.
Marlize van der Schyff – chief financial officer. She previously headed the Tourvest group’s finance team for over 5 years as group financial manager.
Gerhard Esterhuyse – chief commercial officer. Having led the e-commerce and client engagement teams within Tourvest’s Travel Services division, Gerhard will head the commerciality of our existing and expansion efforts.
Yvonne Airey – chief merchandise officer. Yvonne has over 25 years’ experience within retail, including on the ground as well as IFR, amongst other businesses where she has led the buying and planning functions.
Sarel Marais, continues to lead the operations of Tourvest In-flight Retail Services as the chief operating officer, having been part of the team for close to 12 years now.