Carla Hutchings has become the latest sales executive from dnata Travel to follow her former bosses to rival trade-only tour operator If Only.

Head of sales for the north, Gemma Pinder-Davidson, was appointed at If Only last month, moving from her role at dnata Travel, parent company of Travel 2 and Gold Medal.

Four senior executives, including managing director Andy Freeth, sales and marketing director Gordon McCreadie, head of sales Tracy Hirsz and business manager for Travel 2 David Irving, all joined If Only earlier this year.

Matt Appleby had also agreed to make the same switch, but later opted not to join If Only but move to Destination 2 instead.

Hutchings joins as the new business development manager for the southeast of England, after spending the last six of her 16 years in travel at Travel 2, most recently in the role of key account manager for the south and southeast.

Gordon McCreadie, If Only’s sales and marketing director, said: “With her wealth of experience and industry knowledge gained from both working in tour operation and retail, Carla’s appointment is a further sign of our commitment to support retail agents and our aim to be the leading 100% trade focused, luxury operator dedicated solely to supporting agents.

“This appointment will further enhance our trade sales team and will help in increasing the support that we offer to our growing portfolio of regional and national agent partners.

“We will continue to resource accordingly in order to drive our brand forward. We’re very fortunate that we were able to secure someone of the Carla’s calibre as she will fit in perfectly with the ethos of our business and will help take If Only to the next level.

If Only re-structured its team when Pinder-Davidson joined, with Dominic Carrick becoming head of sales for the south. Jorge Quibell was promoted business development manager for the south west of England following the departure of head of sales Neil Sealy.

McCreadie added: “Carla will help us to capitalise on the tremendous opportunity to grow sales in partnership with our agents in the south east, and having worked together for the last six years she knows exactly the high standards that I expect and how she can to deliver on these.

“Carla brings a strong set of business values that will match the demands, and rightly high, expectations of our agents in the south east – she will be a true asset to the If Only family and part of the new team who will provide If Only with the platform to own the luxury operator space and continue to diversify into new destinations, and products.”