If Only’s new chief executive has said “the world is our oyster” in regard to the operator’s diversification plans.
The luxury specialist’s new senior management team – four key figures from Gold Medal and Travel 2 – took up their positions on April 3, 10 months after news of their appointments.
The team’s start date was delayed until April 1 following legal action by their former employer dnata.
Andy Freeth is now If Only’s chief executive; Gordon McCreadie, sales and marketing director; Tracy Docherty, business development director; and David Irving, head of specialist business.
Speaking to TTG on Tuesday, Freeth said: “If Only is a great brand with a very talented team and you can feel the excitement in the office.”
The operator revealed it “is likely” to launch a Caribbean programme early in summer 2018 following the success of its US offering. Freeth said: “Over the next few weeks, the team will be collaborating on where we’d like to go next. It’s unlikely we’d go into Europe, but the world is our oyster.”
Meanwhile, former Gold Medal and Travel 2 director of product and commercial Matt Appleby was previously named product and commercial director for If Only but has instead taken the position of product and purchasing director at long-haul operator Destination2.co.uk. If Only will hold interviews for the vacant position in the coming weeks.
Appleby joins Andrew Botterill, who left Gold Medal and Travel 2 parent dnata last year before taking up the role of executive chairman of Travcorp – which comprises OTA Holidaygems.co.uk and Destination2 – in February.
Botterill revealed Appleby had been working with the operator on a consultancy basis since October last year. “Matt will be integral in shaping and developing our product strategy going forward, allowing us to continue the rapid growth we’ve seen over the last 12 months,” he said.
Appleby added: “We are putting plans in place to expand into new regions and product types as we progress through 2018.”
Kate Wilde has also joined Destination2 as product manager, from JacTravel.