BOGOTÁ – VivaColombia, a budget airline of the South American country, is planning to remove all seats from its planes and make passengers stand.
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The airline management hopes the move will drive down fares by allowing them to squeeze more passengers into each flight, opening up air travel to working class Colombians and budget holidaymakers.
The no-frills carrier announced this week that it is adding 50 new Airbus 320s to its fleet to capitalise on the country’s growing tourist market, the Miami Herald reported.
The new planes will have more seats and lower running costs with the first one going into service at the start of 2018.
VivaColombia’s founder and CEO William Shaw said the airline was looking into vertical travel options. “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.”
“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?” he added.
The concept is not new and airlines have been toying with the idea of standing sections on flights for years. In 2003 Airbus came up with an idea of allowing passengers to be braced in a vertical “seat”.
Ryanair also proposed standing areas on its fleet in 2010. However Civil Aviation Authorities disagree, and vertical seats have not been approved by regulators in any country so far.
This may also prove to be the case in Colombia.