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Air India's in-flight magazine Namaskaar to be renamed

By Sumantha Rathore , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | April 27, 2011
Maxposure Media Group has bagged the tender to publish Namaskaar while the other in-flight magazine Swagat to be discontinued.

Maxposure Media Group, the publishers of Spiceroute, has bagged the rights to publish the in-flight magazine for Air India. Air India will not retain the brand names Swagat and Namaskaar, but will opt for a new name that would strengthen the brand equity of the airline company.

The group won the contract following an open tender. Other publications including APCA, CMYK, Media Transasia and HT Burda also participated. According to those close to the development, Maxposure won the contract for Rs 18.74 crore which is Rs 1.69 crore higher than the second highest bidder.

The contract for production of the magazine is allotted on a turn-key and revenue sharing basis. Maxposure Media is 100 per cent owned by the Johari family.

Swagat the in-flight magazine for the domestic fleet of Air India, was published by Media Transasia since the last thirty years, whereas, Namaskaar was alloted to CMYK publishers on a turn key basis three years back. Air India will now discontinue Swagat from the next month, but will retain Namaskaar with a different name. This is not the first time that Air India has scrapped its in-flight magazine, earlier, the airline had Corporate for its business class customers, and the magazine Darpan for others.

Maxposure will bring out the first issue of this yet-to-be-named magazine in June. Until then, Media Transasia will publish Swagat for both domestic and international flights of the airline. In all likelihood, the new name of the magazine will be finalised by the end of this month or early next month.

Prakash Johari, chief executive officer, Maxposure Corporate Media, says, "In-flight magazines are strong in advertising. The revenue for a single issue of such a magazine can be as high as Rs 2 crore as there is huge brand loyalty. The biggest advantage advertisers get is the captive audience." He adds that Jet Airways and Air India get the lion's share of the advertising pie.

Air India has been publishing the bilingual (English and Hindi) monthly magazine Namaskaar since 1980. It is available to the passengers on the international flights of Air India for onboard reading.

The content mix of the magazine would include information related to Air India, features on tourism, including destinations in India and abroad, articles on Indian cuisine, fashion and lifestyle, industry, and economic development, which can help boost tourism and project India globally.

In all, there are four publishing houses in the country who churn out in flight magazines for various airlines -- Spenta Multimedia (publishers of Jet Wings), VJM Media (publishes magazines for Kingfisher Red and Kingfisher First), and E-Sense Entertainment (publishes Go-Getter), apart from Maxposure Media.

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