E-book retailer Kobo is teaming with Global Eagle Entertainment and Bauer Communications to provide Southwest Airlines passengers complimentary in-flight access to e-books. The new inflight e-book platform launched on May 6 and provides access to full books, as well as excerpts, from hundreds of titles published by the major houses.

The new e-book service will include frontlist titles from Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, Kensington, S&S, HarperCollins, Open Road Media, Bauer Communications, and others. Southwest passengers can use the wi-fi on their mobile devices to connect with an entertainment portal to download the titles. If travelers don’t finish the e-book before they land, the Kobo service will deliver an email to them explaining how they can purchase the title.

Alexis Steinman, senior v-p of digital products at GEE, which provides a variety of digital content to the travel industry, said that reading is "one of the most popular forms of entertainment for airline passengers." This new platform, she added, will therefore "provide value both to our customer Southwest, and to its passengers."

Michael Tamblyn, president and chief content officer at Kobo, said his company has always focused on "allowing book lovers to read more wherever and whenever they want." This partnership does just that, "making a favorite in-flight pastime easier than ever.”