Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chinese airline to ask to stand passengers in aisle

A private airline in China is submitting plans for journeys where passengers can opt to stand to save money. Spring Airlines first initiated the standing ticket idea earlier this year.

It is now considering officially submitting it to the aviation regulator before the year is out. The airline has been trying to cope with surging passenger numbers and new flight routes, but only has 13 planes.

Spring Airlines' Zhang Wuan said: "The process of plane making is really long. We already ordered 14 new jets. But some of them will only be delivered next year.

"And you have to wait for at least five years to lease a plane, and it is also very expensive."

The standing jet could accommodate 40% more passengers compared to a traditional plane. It could also help airlines cut 20% of their costs, while lowering airfares for consumers.

Mr Wuan added: "It's just like bar stools. The safety belt is the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist. Spring Airlines president Wang Zhenghua said that he was confident because the idea had been suggested by China's 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," said Mr Zhenghua.

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