Low-cost airline wants to introduce 'standing seats' on flights
Could 'no-frills' flying goes even further?
A budget airline in Colombia has renewed calls for “standing seats” to be permitted on aircraft to further drive down the cost of flying.
VivaColombia is the latest budget carrier to express interest in so-called vertical seating, akin to perching on a bar stool, which would enable airlines to cram more passengers onto flights.
“There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up,” VivaColombia's founder and CEO William Shaw said. “We’re very interested in anything that makes travel less expensive.”
VivaColombia is not the first airline to consider stand-up flights.
In 2010, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary expressed interest – a plane is just a "bus with wings”, he said at the time.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) claims seatbelts are essential for passenger safety, however, and said there would be many hurdles to jump through before carriers could launch “stand-up” flights.
“First the airline would have to ask the manufacturer of the aircraft to fit them in, then the manufacturer would have to get those seats approved,” said Richard Taylor, a spokesperson for the CAA.
“Unless they can make it 100 per cent safe, it won’t be viable.”
Vertical seating – or “bar stools with seat belts”, as Ryanair dubbed them – was originally touted by Airbus in 2003.
The idea has since been developed by the Italian firm Aviointeriors, which claimed its SkyRider perch (above) could reduce space on an aircraft by 25pc.
So far no such seat has been approved by regulators. The quest for stand-up flights continues.