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In-flight entertainment is going digital

In-flight entertainment is going digital

For airlines looking to reduce fuel and paper costs but keep customers happy, digital in-flight magazines and newspapers could well be a wise investment.

The situation seems to be win-win for publications and airlines. The FIPP's report Innovations in Magazines estimated that airlines could save about $440,00 a year for every 11.5 kilograms of paperweight taken off of a plane. Airplanes carry huge amounts of paper; according to The New York Times, long haul aircrafts carry up to 400 kilograms, and sometimes more.

The best way to eliminate this paper need is to take advantage of digital options. Personal televisions are becoming ubiquitous on flights. While frequent fliers are accustomed to the variety of TV shows, movies, games, and radio offered on the in-flight entertainment systems, newspapers and magazines have been absent thus far.

Now, with the new file compression technology developed by SmarttPapers Aviation, airlines can begin to offer digital magazine and newspaper reading. The publications are high-resolution and easy-to-read.

Singapore Airlines is pioneering the move. It recently scrapped its in-flight magazine and sales catalogue in favor of new technology. The airline eventually plans to introduce more than 100 magazines into the system, as well as e-newspapers and e-books.

For the moment, the new in-flight feature spans about 20 publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Elle, and Bloomberg Business Week. Like in an online version, you can do keyword searches to find specific content. It also has a few option that are not featured in online versions of the publications, including personalizing font sizes and auto-scroll.

Incorporating newspapers and magazines into on-flight entertainment systems does seem to make sense across the board - customers have more choice, newspapers have another platform, and airlines reduce their paper weight.

Sources: The New York Times, Executive Travel Magazine, Gawaya Travel Blog

Photo Credit: Australian Business Traveler



Florence Pichon


2011-06-24 11:57

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