CAL announces new in-flight magazine

| 29/06/2009

(CNS): The decision to put the contract for Cayman Airways’ in-flight magazine out to tender followed recommendations from the Lufthansa audit of the national carrier, and aimed to increase revenue opportunity for the airline. A release from CAL said that its new magazine, Cayman Airways Skies, is due out in September this year, and the airline claimed that through its new relationship with its publishers, HCP/Aboard Publishing company, CAL will receive “a tremendous budget” from the company for advertising in the US at no added cost to Cayman Airways.

According to CAL Corporate Communications Manager Olivia Scott Ramirez, the new magazine will be less widely distributed outside the on-board availability, with “a more focused distribution”. This, she said would make it a “true ‘in-flight’ publication” for CAL rather than a general tourism magazine, and would therefore be less competition for other local magazines geared to tourism. The number of printed magazines of Skies would depend on projections of passenger loads, she said.

Progressive Publications, the publishers for CAL’s in-flight magazine Horizons for 20 years but who lost the bid for the in-flight contract, accepted CAL’s offer to provide an additional two issues of Horizons as CAL’s in-flight magazine, through August 2009.

CAL said that the valuable advertising budget it will receive from HCP/Aboard Publishing will allow the national flag carrier to promote Cayman in the 31 newspapers across the United States that are owned by The McClatchy Company. HCP/Aboard is a subsidiary of The McClatchy Company, which is the third-largest newspaper company in the United States.

“The amount equates to a 20% increase on the airline’s entire advertising and marketing budget annually, which Cayman Airways would never be able to afford otherwise,” explained CAL’s VP Finance Paul Tibbetts in the release. “We are also getting an increase in the minimum guaranteed revenue each year from advertising royalties, so from a financial standpoint it is a sound business decision which is in the best interest of our national flag carrier, and by default, for the country.”

Through this new partnership, local advertisers will also get added international exposure through a dynamic new electronic version of the printed magazine called an “e-zine” (short for electronic magazine). The web-based e-zine allows users to turn each page electronically while viewing the magazine on their computers, and to click straight through to each advertiser’s company website by just clicking on the ad. The e-zine will also be iPhone and iPod compatible for maximum viewing flexibility.

“This new concept of an e-zine will allow Cayman companies to achieve a wider reach when they advertise in the new publication,” explained VP Commercial for Cayman Airways Paul Mooney. “That’s a significant consideration for local businesses trying to stretch their advertising dollars in the current economic climate, especially when this bonus feature comes at no added cost to them.”
Also part of HCP/Aboard’s contract with Cayman Airways, a Cayman company with a local representative will always be contracted to manage the sales aspect of the publication on the ground on Grand Cayman. Local sales and marketing expert, David Kirkaldy, of Massive Group Ltd. has been named the magazine’s Cayman representative.

“I am excited about being part of producing an incredible, award-winning in-flight magazine for Cayman Airways,” he said, adding that after weeks preparing a sales plan for the first issue, the positive response from local advertisers has been tremendous. Drawing from his degree in communications and more than 20 years experience in sales and marketing on Grand Cayman, Mr. Kirkaldy is in the process of developing a new division of his company – Massive Media Ltd.
On the editorial side, several local writers and photographers have been contracted to produce all Cayman-related articles and images. CAL claimed that having their work featured in this new in-flight magazine will give them invaluable exposure to additional freelance opportunities with the many publications produced by HCP/Aboard.

Scott Ramirez noted that the publication’s new name is Cayman Airways Skies, chosen from more than 200 names submitted by Cayman Airways employees in an internal staff competition. Among the many new features HCP/Aboard Publishing will introduce in the new magazine is bi-lingual content in Spanish/English.

CEO Designate Olson Anderson commented, “We were impressed with all companies who submitted bids for this project so it was not an easy decision or one that was taken lightly. The decision to go with HCP/Aboard Publishing was ultimately made in the best interest of Cayman Airways and our customers as we strive to meet the airline’s vision for a revenue-generating, award-winning in-flight magazine.”

Acting CAL Board Chairman Johnny Brown echoed those sentiments, stating, “CAL’s in-flight magazine was identified in the Lufthansa audit as a revenue source that was not being maximized. Through this new contract with HCP/Aboard, the increased revenue and substantial advertising space in US newspapers will allow Cayman Airways to entice more visitors to the Cayman Islands and to travel on our national flag carrier. There is no question that this partnership will benefit the countryas a whole while helping to improve CAL’S bottom line.”

“We are delighted to have been selected as the publisher of Cayman Airways’ new in-flight magazine,” said HCP/Aboard Publisher Garry Duell Jr. “Together with our Caymanian partner David Kirkaldy, our team will work closely with local writers and photographers to produce an award-winning magazine that will bring added exposure to the destination. Our multimedia program includes print and online added value that will promote the magazine and its website throughout the United States.”

In recent years, Progressive Publications contracted Cogent Communications to manage the sales and editorial production of the magazine, with the printing being done overseas. 

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Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant press release CAL but I don’t buy a bit of it.  In a years time I want to know what money you made out of this move and how much business REALLY came to Cayman from this invaluable exposure in other publications and all the other crap that was spouted.  The person writing your press releases should be running the airline … they’re damn good!

  2. Annoymous says:

    Good move CAL!!

  3. Well done says:

    Well done to CAL for being brave enough to take this step forward, especially in the face of those who would rather CAL was humstrung by the need to source its contractors locally.