Report: Airbus Could Replace In-Flight Print Magazine With Digital

Airbus may be dumping SkyMall, the in-flight magazine, in favor of a flexible OLED screen, Gizmodo reports. 

Airbus did not responded to a request for confirmation at press time, but the story has been gathering momentum. It follows announcements by several other airlines that they are scrapping their print magazines.  

According to Gizmodo, Airbus has been working with Royole Technology to develop a digital magazine product that looks like an iPad but feels more flexible — and plans to test one. Flyers could use it to order food and merchandise, screen entertain and read publications. 

“Not only will an OLED display look better than the cheap LCDs many airlines put at every seat, but they’re also lighter, use less power, and passengers will be able to position them wherever they want while watching a movie or show,” Gizmodo writes.  



The report said OLEDs are easy to clean and sanitize between uses, as opposed to a print magazine. 

OLEDs are another alternative to print magazines  often rolled up and stuffed back into the backs of seats. (The way it sounds, a flexible OLED could also be bunched up.)

American Airlines retired American Way magazine in June, following Delta and Southwest, which also abandoned print. American Way was started as an annual in 1966.

Instead of print, American will focus on inflight entertainment, offering a library of 600 movies and TV shows, and over 150 classes in creative, productivity and language through its new Lifestyle inflight entertainment channel. 

The airlines cite the cost and environmental impact of print. But it may transpire that print is not  easy to replace, given the need for technology and uncertain wi-fi on flights.  

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