As the Covid-19 crisis hit earlier this year, one of the first things that many airlines did was to get inflight magazines from the back pockets. The goal was obvious: to cut one potential mechanism of viral transmission onboard. Passengers’ health and safety will be the top priority, and they will expect airlines to take methods to safeguard them from possible contagions they may face while travelling. As a result, many people turn to digital downloads to get the previously available information with in-flight magazines.
Drawbacks of Printed Magazines
The era of the inflight magazine is fast ending. Although customers value the pleasure and information provided by the airline industry magazines, airlines have several drawbacks in maintaining this resource. The first is the expense of producing and maintaining their magazine supply. Those that are removed or damaged must be checked and replaced at each stage. This adds to the workload of the flight crew and necessitates the carrying of an excess supply onboard.
As these magazines are static, they may be out of date, inaccurate, or otherwise ineffective. That is not good for the airline’s reputation or customer happiness.
The Need for Digitalization
With the emphasis on sustainability right now, eliminating the weight of paper magazines from a flight is a fast gain for airlines. However, handling a tangible thing that has been handled and perhaps coughed or sneezed on by other travelers is becoming less enticing for passengers concerned about virus transmission.
Airlines are already beginning to remove these magazines from the cabin. Mostly, the solution is to give the same material via an app or digital airline magazines online download that can be watched on the customer’s device. However, not every traveler has a suitable gadget to read those airline industry magazines online, and some are disappointed that printed resources are no longer available. Hence, Airbus has a unique plan, and as a result, it has been nominated for a Crystal Cabin Award this year.
A Unique Digital Magazine
Airbus has patented a new variant of a digital magazine with the feel of a printed magazine but is a digital alternative. This Digital Magazine employs an extremely slim and super flexible OLED screen to provide a familiar yet contemporary experience. Passengers will still be able to read the magazine contents from their seats without using their own devices.
The screen would be coupled with the obligatory in-flight safety card, yet would offer all amusement, news, and shopping choices. Furthermore, with digital upload allowing for quick updates, airlines may alter their magazine material frequently or customize it for the route or even the customer.
Benefits of digital magazines:
- Revenue Boost: Airlines benefit greatly from digital press material to understand their passengers’ interests, requirements, and desires. Because of the content-rich nature of newspapers and magazines, airlines have the chance to mine data that will increase their capacity to offer targeted and appealing advertising to the appropriate passenger at the right time. This significantly improves an airline’s travel retail conversion rates by exploiting up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
- Economizing: Eliminating hard copy press is another excellent solution to reduce airline operational expenses. Airlines will save money on fuel by removing the extra weight that hard copy newspapers and magazines bring to each flight. As per Apex, according to a Boeing study, eliminating the weight of print newspapers and magazines translates to an annual savings of more than US$4.5 million for a fleet of wide-body aircraft performing 1,000 flights per day. Additionally, the digital press reduces the logistical expenditures associated with supplying hard copy newspapers and periodicals.
- Environment Friendly: Because of the Covid-19 epidemic, individuals have become more ecologically concerned, prompting airlines to prioritize reducing their total environmental effect. This is a huge financial benefit to attract travelers. Airlines use less fuel on each flight by reducing paper waste from hard copy newspapers and magazines onboard, as well as the weight associated with them. This, in turn, reduces the airline’s overall carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and improves their carbon footprint. As a consequence, their airline is considerably more appealing to potential customers. Thus, printed inflight magazines are less eco-friendly than digital ones.
The Future Cybernetic World
In 2018, Airbus entered a partnership with Royole Technology to investigate these ideas. Royole is a global leader in flexible screens, folding smartphones, and flexible sensors, making it a perfect partner for bringing this technology inside aircraft cabins.
The transition from hard-copy inflight magazines and newspapers into digital press can
- benefit PaxEx and NPS,
- provide new additional ancillary revenue opportunities,
- offer valuable ways of cutting logistical and operational costs,
- provide companies with financial benefits over competitors that do not focus on enhancing their environmental impact, and
- reassure passengers’ health and safety needs during the flight.
Airlines around the world have already begun the digital media inflight because they recognize the general discomfort of their passengers in touching anything they don’t know is clean and hygienic; we expect many further forward-thinking Airlines to use their IFE solutions in the digital press to become operational in the coming weeks and months in the coronavirus-impacted travel market and beyond.