MarketWatch reports that Legend Media entered into the exclusive contract with Xinhua Airline Magazine in late 2008.
The writer found Discovery for Cathay Pacific, Mabuhay for Philippine Airlines, Muhibbah for Royal Brunei. In those days they all made serious profits. The reason was simple —cigarettes. There was what was called the James Bond Syndrome which suggested that the only time a smoker would switch brands would be inflight. The tobacco companies fought to get advertising in the inflight magazines and fought even harder to get their cigarettes carried inflight.
Now cigarettes have stopped and the future of inflight magazines is iffy. They tend not to be thoroughly read. And the circulation depends entirely on how many you tell the aircraft cleaners to throw away. There are still a lot of them around but if the price of fuel seriously rises then this form of entertainment will disappear.