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   Vol. 19 No. 72
Friday November 20, 2020
Easy to Remember, Hard to Forget
Heide Enfield

     In less than two weeks the curtain will ring down on a career that has endured for nearly 46 years at an airline, or since Gerald Ford was U.S. President and Helmut Schmidt served as Chancellor of The Federal Republic of Germany.
     In Frankfurt when Heide Enfield packs it in and retires on November 30 and says her last farewell, she will also ring down the curtain on a family affiliation in the airline business that dates back almost as far as the creation and development of post 1950s modern commercial aviation in Germany.
     Along the way Heide has served in many roles with distinction at Lufthansa, but nothing grander or more cutting edge, than her role as Head of Marketing at Lufthansa Cargo Charter.
     One thing in all of this is for certain, we will not see the likes of this kind of excellence in many different roles and length of dedicated service in the airline business again.
     In her many and varied positions as a woman at Lufthansa, Heide Enfield was way ahead of her time and even can be seen as a pioneering key executive in a team led by Christian Fink that propelled Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency (LCCA) into global impact and fame as the 21st century began.

Brilliant Cargo Company

     Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency was a solid, profitable innovative company that keeps popping up in mind as some kind of short-sighted loss by parent Lufthansa Cargo that divested itself of LCCA in 2012. What is immediately apparent especially right now as cargo and specifically charters dominate the airline playing field, is that many of the people that made LCCA successful are off at various companies, guiding the fortunes of GSSA’s and others out to secure charter business around the world in COVID-19 2020.
     But that is another story.
     Here we talk a bit to Heide about her 46-year love affair with the German airline.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

     “I started working for Lufthansa on January 1, 1975, so almost 46 years ago, and now my last day will be November 30, 2020.
     “I guess I was Lufthansa property from birth, with a father who was a Lufthanseat from almost day one.
     “My first flight was when I was 5 years old. The flight was a surprise for my twin sister Uta and me; my father took us to Düsseldorf to pick up our first car, which he had bought from a friend.
     “Of course, it was a VW Beetle,” Heide smiled.

Heide Enfield, Klaus Gehnich, Ingrid Gehnich and Uta Gehnich

Recruited Right Out of School

     “When I left school in summer of 1974 I wanted to join Lufthansa right away, which I then did a few months later, 4 days before my 18th birthday.
      “My first years at Lufthansa were good but not really very exciting.
     “But when I was moved over to a job in the new tourist department, things really started to take off.”

Setting Up Tours

     “We made arrangements for travel into Germany, facilitating agent study tours for our offices abroad, or arranging travel for medical service for customers in the Middle East, who came to Germany rather than go elsewhere where it was much more expensive.
     “It was very interesting, even enthralling to get that traffic going, especially with the knowledge that we were building the world-class medical arts profession in Germany, and also helping people get well while saving money, and we were growing Lufthansa, all at the same time,” Heide declared.

The Move To Munich & Air Cargo

     “After about 10 years it was time to move on, so I applied for a job in Munich and got it. I moved to Munich in 1992, just before the opening of the new airport.
     “After a couple of years came Kurt Scholz, Head of Sales and Handling South Germany for LH Cargo.
     “Herr Scholz asked me to take over his accounting department.
     “He said that the word up was that I was a good team leader and ‘we need leaders with drive and imagination.’”

MUC Numbers Were Stuck

     “So, I took the job.
     “Well, the accounting department was sheer chaos as there had not been a top numbers guru for a couple of months.
     “So, while getting the numbers game sorted out with the help of a colleague from Cologne, we realized that an awful lot of dedicated and otherwise talented and well-meaning people were working in accounting.
     “But without formal training they were in motion with no control, like a windsock at an airport.”

Brought Training Forward

     “So together,” Heide said, “with the Lufthansa School and Central Revenue Accounting in Hamburg we set up courses and soon I was a trainer on the job in addition to my regular duties.
     “It is no secret that management follows the money, so before long I was tasked to take over as Head of Revenue in Hamburg, responsible for Lufthansa Cargo global revenue accounting.”

Takes A Bite Out Of Hamburg

     “I moved to Hamburg the beginning of 2000. I really had some very memorable and truly great times in Munich as well as in Hamburg.
     “Lots of nice colleagues, the job was fun and diversified and the Hamburg experience involved quite a bit of travelling to cargo station offices abroad to implement new ideas and ensure the Lufthansa quality proposition,” Heide recalled.

Back To The Future

     “In October 2002 I moved back to Frankfurt to join Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency, a newly formed subsidiary of LH Cargo.
     “First I worked as Senior Sales Manager, and in 2004 I became Head of Marketing and PR.
     “The years at charter were the most exciting ones in my whole career.”

Building Lufthansa Charter

     “LCCA was a small company, not a 9 to 5 job, and required quick decisions, but allowed for great freedom and possibilities to create and develop new strategies and procedures.
     “LCCA was also non-stop exciting projects, meeting a lot of people from all over the world, press work and engagement with the international air cargo publications, trade fairs, and a level of contact in every aspect of the adventure that was second to none.”

Happy Faces Going Places

Christian Fink, Heide Enfield and Geoffrey Arend     “We were pioneering, going places and setting a tone while delivering a solid, steadily growing business.
     “Christian Fink, our managing director was just terrific.
     “Christian, quite the renaissance man, made it possible for everybody to express their entrepreneurship in real time every day on the job.
     “He put a lot of trust in his team and the result was that together we made the company a success.”
     For many in air cargo, including yours truly, Lufthansa Cargo Charter was the “little company that could” as it continued along in an ever-profitable atmosphere for many seasons. It always held its own, and at times even bested bigger, more entrenched competitors.
     There was a cohesive, often high-spirited and uplifting feeling amongst many at Lufthansa Cargo Charter that was immediately apparent after the company opened its offices near Frankfurt Am Main in Kelsterbach.
     It was certainly all business, but you quickly learned that amongst Fink and company, there was always the ability to step back and enjoy the journey.
     Aside from being great business people, Lufthansa Cargo Charter was also known for its support of charitable causes such as Mothers’ Mercy Home, an orphanage in Kianjogu just outside Nairobi, which is part of the Lufthansa Cargo’s ‘Cargo Human Care’ (CHC) project.

The Unexplained

     “Then unfortunately in 2010, Christian was replaced and things changed a lot—and not for the better,” Heide says.
     “In 2013, the company was reintegrated into Lufthansa Cargo, which meant that it was closed down with only a handful of the staff remaining, doing charter for LH Cargo but on a lot smaller scale.
     “So, with heart and soul, I must say Lufthansa Charter was really not only the most exciting, but also the most painful experience during my 46 years here.”

As of Now

     “Since Charter, I have been working at LH Cargo Handling in Frankfurt on various projects.
     “The good news is that as always, here too I have met some wonderful people and we have been able through it all to connect for the positive good of our company.
     “I wouldn't say that 46 years passed in a hurry; it does feel like an awfully long time.
     “And now I am ready to say good bye,” Heide said wistfully.

The Sentimental Sap

     That’s me!
     I am able to accept things happening and report about a wonderful person like Heide with great regularity.
     But something she brought to the table in her marketing role that upon reading about her background at Lufthansa, you could not guess might happen.
     During the Lufthansa Charter years, Heide and the group would host a yearly customer event like no other.
Heide Enfield and Sabiha Arend     Heide went over to Darmstadt and found this lovely 1920s children’s petting zoo, where every summer the annual Lufthansa Charter Agency Summer Party would be held.
     Knocking around the zoo was always the same – a grand time filled with food, fun and merry entertainment.
     And always, there were the children.
     By count, fully a third or more of the attendees were kids, and their laughter and joy was heard just like the late summer cicadas, a mixture of voices and buzzing that created a din that rose and fell on the breeze all afternoon.
     “We tried and made this a relaxed, entertaining family day for all,” said Heide.
     “The idea was to create memories of this wonderful, soft time of year when everyone should be with family and friends.”
     Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency represented not just a company, but also a family of people. And Heide Enfield was an integral member of that family.
     We will miss Heide Enfield who is not only one of the smartest marketing and public relations talents, but is also truly an air cargo industry standard.

Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency
Vivarium Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency
At Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency's summertime customer event, as four part harmony floated above the gathering, employees, customers and their families networked, got to know each other and enjoyed a great time. LCAA chief Christian Fink and marketing guru Heide Enfield set the tone and the bar for a day in the summer, encouraging all "to have a good time." Heide Enfield and friend
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