Debate rages over plane standing areas

Budget carrier considers removing seats from planes
South American budget carrier VivaColombia is thinking about taking out all of the seats from its planes and making passengers stand. Civil aviation authorities are, however, against the move.
The airline argues this will cut fares even more, allowing many more passengers to squeeze into each flight and opening up air travel to working class Colombians.
VivaColombia revealed it was adding 50 new Airbus 320s to its fleet – with more seats and lower running costs – to meet the demands of the country’s growing tourist market.
“There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up – we’re very interested in anything that makes travel less expensive,” said VivaColombia founder and chief executive William Shaw, who is also CCO of VivaLatinAmerica.
“Who cares if you don’t have an inflight entertainment system for a one-hour flight? Who cares that there aren’t marble floors, or that you don’t get free peanuts?”
But Colombia’s civil aviation director, Alfredo Bocanegra, does not approve. “People have to travel like human beings,” he said.
The idea is nothing new. Airbus has drawn up plans in the past that put passengers in a ‘vertical seat’. Michael O’Leary of Ryanair has also proposed “bar stools with seatbelts” and questioned whether seatbelts were really necessary.
“If there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seatbelt won’t save you,” he said. “You don’t need a seatbelt on the London Underground. You don’t need a seatbelt on trains which are travelling at 120mph.”
Miami Herald / Independent


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