China's Spring Airlines Proposes Standing Configuration

Open Jaw

It’s not just a Michael O’Leary pipe dream.

China's Spring Airlines is considering a standing-room-only class for flights in exchange for lower ticket prices.

Passengers would still have seatbelts, but seating would be more like "bar stools," the airline's President said, adding that switching to standing seats would increase the airplane's capacity by 40%.

"We need many other conditions to make it work, like working together with airplane manufacturers, getting the approval from the authorities and having the consumers accept the idea," a spokesperson told China National Radio.

Irish budget carrier FR has floated the idea in the past, but aviation authorities have been reluctant due to safety issues.

9C saw its share price more than double within just 6 days of listing on the Shanghai stock exchange, making it Asia's highest valued budget carrier. Shares gained the daily limit of 10% each day since hitting the debut maximum of 44% on 21JAN. That made the airline worth 15.29 billion yuan ($2.45 billion).

Spring has managed to undercut its larger state-owned rivals with stringent cost control and a no-frills approach. It filled more planes more often last year than domestic rivals, reporting China's highest average passenger load factor of 95%. The airline has also been profitable since its 1st full year of operation in 2006.

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