Standing only flights on Spring Airlines?

That's right - CCTV is reporting that Chinese carrier Spring Airlines is looking at standing-room only flights on some of its Airbus A320s. The airline, billed as the first low-cost carrier in China, will try to get regulatory approval for the idea by the end of the year. Apparently, the new passenger layout means that the A320s can fit up to 40% more passengers (that's quite a bit) as well as cut costs by 20%. "It's just like bar stools," the airline said. "The safety belt is the the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist."
Spring Airlines wants the standing-only flights as a way to cope with capacity issues - it can't get a hold of new planes quickly enough to keep up with passenger demand. According to Spring Airlines President Wang Zhengua, the idea for the flights was proposed by Chinese vice premier Zhang Dejiang: "He suggested that, for a lower price, passengers should be able to get on a plane like catching a bus, with no seat, no luggage consignment, no food, no water, but very convenient." Wang also says that airline has been told by Airbus that the idea was safe, so "once the government approves it formally, we'll try it."
Apparently the tickets that require you to stand in the aisle would be 20% cheaper. I'm not sure whether the entire aircraft would be standing-only, or if it's just additional standing in the aisle. But this might be a novel, if somewhat uncomfortable, way of dealing with the problem of undercapacity - that is, if it gets regulatory approval, as the Chinese aviation authorities still require that passengers are seated for takeoff and landing. Maybe Vice Premier Zhang can do something about it, but in the meantime, let's not give Ryanair's Michael O'Leary any ideas...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see that the standing passengers will get no food or drink. Wonder if they will be allowed to use the toilet or will that be extra as it involves a seat?

dpb said...

I guess if people are willing to pay less for that sort of treatment, whose fault is that? "If you build it they will come"

That said, if an elderly lady decides to save a few bucks on the stand up seats right by myself who paid full price...argh. I would have to offer her my seat...

dpb

Anonymous said...

Michael O'Leary already picked up the idea!

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