Qantas Airways is capitalising on the power of digital content to enhance its relationship with customers. In partnership with PressReader, the airline’s passengers are now able to download and read timely, customised content before, during, and after their flights.

Qantas, Australia's largest domestic and international airline, is committing 40-50% of its marketing budget to digital and social media programs that build loyalty. 

When searching for a digital solution to provide passengers with a broad range of digital content, they found an ideal partner in PressReader, the largest all-you-can-read digital media platform, with 5,000+ publications and more than 300 million readers worldwide.

Quants offers a better user experience by integrating PressReader in its mobile app.
Quants offers a better user experience by integrating PressReader in its mobile app.

During the 24 hours before a flight, passengers can download the PressReader app and all their favourite titles to read at home, in the taxi to the airport, while standing in line at check-in or security, in the lounge, on board, and even after they arrive at their final destination.

This leaves travelers with a positive, lasting impression of the airline, and the content publishers enjoy high brand discoverability, engagement with readers, and new revenue.

A digital approach to offering content saves money and reduces the airline's environmental footprint.
A digital approach to offering content saves money and reduces the airline's environmental footprint.

While Qantas continues to offer a limited number of print newspapers and magazines before and during flights, the stronger emphasis on digital provides:

  • Improved customer experience and personalisation at every contact point with the brand before, during, and after flights — regardless of language, interests, or country of origin.

  • Driving greater efficiencies across all business lines.

  • Reducing its environmental footprint and fuel expenditures by reducing the total weight of items on the plane. 
Signage in airport lounges alerted passengers to the content on offer during the flight.
Signage in airport lounges alerted passengers to the content on offer during the flight.

“Many people use flights as a way to catch up with their reading, so this new service opens up a huge library of titles,” says Olivia Wirth, Qantas executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs. “We built PressReader into the existing Qantas app to make it easier for customers to manage all parts of the journey through one application.”

When the partnership was announced, Qantas also launched a comprehensive marketing program to inform, educate, and engage passengers with the app.

Airline staff learned how to use the service, and key employees were appointed as “Change Champions” at all the major hub gates and lounges during the first week, so they could help passengers get familiar with PressReader. 

Qantas "Change Champions" introduced passengers to the content offered by PressReader.
Qantas "Change Champions" introduced passengers to the content offered by PressReader.

Qantas also offered screen wipes in lounges; displayed signage; conducted digital advertising campaigns; launched a dedicated Web site landing page promoting the service; and promoted the partnership in an in-flight video.

An advertising campaign targeted publishers in the cities to which Qantas travels, and social media buzzed with announcements, contests, and ongoing engagement with users. 

Qantas advertised in publications located in cities to which the airline travels.
Qantas advertised in publications located in cities to which the airline travels.

The Qantas-PressReader collaboration has been a win-win-win for passengers, the airline, and participating content publishers.

Within a month of launching the Qantas app integrated with PressReader, its ranking in the iOS app store went from 310th to 8th position in the Australia travel category. 

The widely varying type of magazines and newspapers enjoyed on PressReader by Qantas customers highlights the diversity of travelers’ interests and their growing appetite for quality journalism. Reader feedback reflects how delighted passengers are to discover publications they never knew existed.

The campaign engaged passengers with buzz, announcements, and games related to the new offering.
The campaign engaged passengers with buzz, announcements, and games related to the new offering.

Passengers enjoy more choice and a better reading experience, while publishers reach a global audience many of them could not reach on their own.

This is just the beginning of the travel industry’s shift to capitalising on digital content. PressReader is now working with airlines on a number of initiatives designed to:

  • Use premium content to drive their brand experiences through a multitude of digital touchpoints.

  • Integrate quality content into their marketing pipelines, including loyalty programmes, lounges, social media, email campaigns, advertising, and cross-promotional partnership with publishers.

  • Deliver more sophisticated levels of personalisation and targeting based on who customers are, where they live, where they are traveling, what their interests are, and so on.