Columbian budget airline VivaColombia renewed its call for “standing seats” in an attempt to reduce ever-increasing flying costs.
VivaColombia, which flies daily from Medellin to Miami, is the latest airline to express interest in vertical seating, The Telegraph reported Tuesday.
“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.”
Airbus pioneered vertical seating in 2003, and in 2010, RyanAir toyed with the same idea, calling vertical seats “bar stools with seat belts.”
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that seatbelts are necessary to keep passengers safe, adding that there would be many barriers to break 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 CAA spokesman Richard Taylor. “Unless they can make it 100 percent safe, it won’t be viable.”
Others think that standing seats would be too much like transporting livestock in disgustingly close quarters. “People have to travel like human beings,” Civil Aviation Director Alfredo Bocanegra told RCN radio in Colombia. “Anyone who has ridden on public mass transit knows that it’s not the best when you’re standing.”
VivaColombia has expanded its aircraft fleet within existing regulations, and will launch its first 50 new Airbus 320s in May 2018. The new planes will cost less to maintain and have more seats, according to Express.
No vertical seats has been approved by regulators to date.
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