Passenger flights across the Atlantic have resumed as the dust cloud from the Icelandic volcanic eruption has begun to dissipate, but print publications are still scrambling to get their magazines’ issues overseas.
As of late last week, The Economist still couldn’t deliver to around 20,000 subscribers in Southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, whose copies are flown from Europe. Flights are gearing up again, but with people taking priority over cargo, it’s unclear when magazines will be able to get on planes.
The Economist sent those customers its Zinio digital edition until regular delivery resumes, as did Billboard (which, like Mediaweek, is owned by e5 Global Media).
The flight disruption threatened to keep Bloomberg Businessweek, with an international circ of 46,000, from getting its highly promoted relaunch issue overseas. President Paul Bascobert is confident the issue will get to them in time though. “There’s some backlog, but copies are flowing,” he said. “We’ll be fine for our relaunch.”
Publishers still stand to take a hit in newsstand sales because of canceled flights though. “A lot of those airports are running at very low capacity,” said The Economist’s Paul Rossi, managing director and evp, Americas. “We think we’ll lose newsstand sales; I think it will be thousands of copies, not hundreds. That will affect everybody.”