The Global Media Weekly for executives and entrepreneurs

Fuller buys ‘his’ Flying magazine

Craig Fuller, flying enthusiast and founder of the Freightwaves information business, has bought Flying magazine from the US subsidiary of Sweden’s Bonnier group for a price believed to be some $5m.

What is claimed to be “the world’s most widely-read aviation magazine”, was founded in 1927 and has been owned by Bonnier for the last decade. It focusses on aircraft and equipment, review, safety, regulation and pilot experiences.

Flying is estimated to have had revenue of some $5m and EBITDA of about $1m in 2020. About one-third of its revenue comes from subscriptions.

It has a total readership of 160k per print issue and over 400k monthly online visitors. Fuller plans to invest in editorial, production and digital expansion including podcasts and video. He also wants to add a Modern Flying supplement covering innovation as the industry moves towards electrification and urban air taxis. Ownership of Flying will be separate from Freightwaves. Fuller, who started flying aircraft at the age of 13 (yes), has been a subscriber to Flying for almost 30 years.

He claims to have been inspired to acquire the magazine by the Flashes & Flames feature on Why Magazines are the new trophy assets: “It made me think that I would love to own Flying. Now 10 weeks later, I am the proud owner of the magazine. As a pilot, I feel like I’ve bought the Yankees! I also believe that aviation is about to go through a massive renaissance with urban air mobility technology on the horizon, which Morgan Stanley believes will be a $1trillion market by 2040.”

Craig Fuller owns an ICON A5, an amphibious, all carbon-fiber aircraft, which “can land nearly anwhere”. It cost him about 5% of what he paid for his dream magazine, which next year celebrates its 95th anniversary.