Chinese airline wants spare 'barstool-style' seating to carry 40% more passengers

China's Spring Airlines is in a bit of a pickle. The air carrier has enjoyed a steady increase in passengers since its start in '05 thanks to low fares (which means next to no complimentary in-flight amenities), and now its fleet of 13 planes can't handle all the prospective customers. The airline already has 14 new jets on the way, but that's not enough, officials say.

The solution? Make passengers stand! Well, not completely, but close enough. "It's just like bar stools. The safety belt is the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist," Spring Airlines' Zhang Wuan told China's CCTV. The new arrangement, according to Spring Airlines, would allow 40% more passengers on every flight and help reduce the carrier's cost by up to 20%, which would in turn lower fares.

Spring Airlines president Wang Zhenghua may even want to take the idea further, after talking with 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," Mr. Zhenghua said.

That kind of reasoning is entirely opposite to most airlines, which seek to recoup losses through luxury services and optimized routes while still providing comfort. Still, it's just a proposal for the time being. Spring Airlines wants to submit its plan by the end of the year.

Via Sky News