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Spring Airlines to sell standing room tickets

July 7, 2009

Spring planes will become “like a bus” in an effort to increase passenger load by 40%, due to a sharp influx of customers wishing to take advantage of Spring Airlines’ cheap rates. Chinese airline officials are considering an unusual request made by Spring Airlines: allow passengers to purchase standing room only fares on short flights at cheaper rates.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang defends the idea, saying 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.” It is theorized that the Spring Airlines Airbus A320 would be able to accommodate up to 40% more passengers while cutting operating costs significantly if it were to allow standing-room fares.

Where safety is concerned, airline spokesperson Zhang Wuan explained that passengers would be strapped into a barstool-like seat during take off and landing with a safety belt that fastens around the waist. Zhang claims that Airbus has assured the airline that this seating proposal is perfectly safe.

Airline president Wang Zhenghua, in a statement given to Chinese television, that since the Vice Premier lent his support, the idea has been gaining momentum.

Questions, such as how airline staff will move through the standing passengers, and safety concerns regarding evacuation issues have not been addressed.

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