For many travelers, picking up a copy of a newspaper or a magazine before boarding an aircraft is a comforting habit. After all, when are you going to have quite as much time as on a long-haul flight to read a newspaper cover to cover? Still, the sometimes sparse offerings from airlines can be an annoyance for passengers, and the additional weight of carrying these publications can be an annoyance for carriers.
PressReader has for some time been digitizing and maintaining the online and mobile presences of various major print publications, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Guardian. For the past three years, the company has been partnered with IFE specialist DTI Solutions with a goal of bringing digital daily publications to aircraft IFE systems. DTI’s branded ‘eReader’ is the result of this collaborative effort and has been operating on flydubai aircraft since last May, says PressReader market development manager Darcy Sara, market development manager for PressReader.
Other customers include Libyan Airlines, which also offers the service as part of its existing onboard IFE. Portugal’s SATA Internacional has instead adopted a tablet IFE system that can be distributed to passengers with the digital magazines pre-loaded, and in the cases of Virgin Australia and TAP Portugal the service is available in their lounges.
Even the most nostalgic of passengers – the ones who miss the yellowish glow of the reading light on the thin, rustling sheets of newspaper or the distinct airplane scent of the pages – will have to admit that getting to choose from myriad titles is tempting. PressReader says that some 120 countries’ publications are available, including over 300 US titles and more than 140 UK titles.
The PressReader app is available across many platforms, including Windows, iOS, and Android, though PressReader makes a point of saying it wants to coexist with print media. Clearly its arrangement with DTI is also important as it seeks to widen its airline clientele. For the passenger, being able to access your first-choice magazine from an airline’s selection each and every time is finally possible.