Increased revenue through new magazine contract – CAL

The new in-flight magazine for Cayman Airways will connect the islands and Cayman companies with more potential business than ever before, according to the national flag carrier.

The magazine is to sport a new look, name, and business focus and a US-based company will now take over, following 27 years of local production of Horizons Magazine (the publication which up to now has served as the in-flight magazine).

This is despite the fact that other publishing companies on-island sought the contract for the publication, including Cayman Free Press, and the company that does Horizons – Cogent Communications Ltd.

After several months conducting a formal tendering process for the magazine, one of the many reasons Cayman Airways chose the overseas HCP/Aboard Publishing company was because the airline will receive a tremendous budget from the company for advertising in the United States, the airline said in a press release.

At no added cost to Cayman Airways, this advertising budget allows 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 release noted.

‘The amount equates to a 20 per cent 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. ‘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.

‘This new concept of an e-zine will allow Cayman companies to achieve a wider reach when they advertise in the new publication,’ said VP Commercial for Cayman Airways Paul Mooney.

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.

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.

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.

‘Having now implemented a more focused distribution of the printed magazine, we’re able to better position it as a true ‘in-flight’ publication for the national flag carrier,’ said the airline’s Corporate Communications Manager Olivia Scott Ramirez. ‘This re-positioning allows us to work closer with more local photographers and writers in all sectors of Cayman as we develop editorial plans with articles of interest for travellers on a variety of topics that will appeal to our local customers as well as visitors.’

She also noted that 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 said: ‘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 said: ‘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 country as a whole while helping to improve CAL’S bottom line.’

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Brown thanked the publishers of the privately-owned Horizons magazine for the many years they allowed the airline to use their publication as the in-flight magazine.

HCP/Aboard publishes the award-winning in-flight magazines for American Eagle (named Latitudes) and TACA Airlines (named Explore) and has been the recipient of many prestigious publishing and marketing awards for their extensive portfolio.

The new magazine is due out in September this year.

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