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Airlines examine horrid new bicycle-style perch seating

July 16, 2014 Aviation, Headline News 3 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Airlines and plane manufacturers are examining – and in one case patenting – strange new aircraft seats which pack more passengers into aircraft.

While airlines periodically deny plans to introduce such grim-looking seats, designs keep surfacing. Arithmetic dictates that packing more passengers onto a plane should equal lower fares, with operating costs divided by passenger numbers.

Airbus Industries filed a patent application last December for a very sparse and Spartan type of seating that does away with necessities like tray Perching Saddletables, a backrest or even much legroom. Such a design might conceivably be used to transport people (prisoners perhaps, or soldiers?) on short trips, where being cramped in a semi-upright position for an hour or so wouldn’t matter too much.

Airbus’s “bicycle-type” seats would fold down when in use, and flip back up again when unoccupied, like seats in some cinemas.

The plane-maker apparently feels passengers might be willing to suffer the rigors of cramped travel in exchange for cheap fares.

“[To maximise financial returns on aircraft for low-cost airlines], the number of seats in a cabin must be increased, to the detriment of the comfort of the passengers,” stated Airbus in the patent filing, as quoted by Business Insider.

“However, this reduced comfort is tolerable for passengers in as much as the flight lasts one or a few hours.”

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, an Airbus spokesperson conceded the seats may never make it into production.

Concepts that let passengers perch on angled seats, as in some fast-food restaurants, surface from time to time. The SkyRider, developed by Airbus bicycle seatsAviointeriors, was unveiled in 2010. It uses a revolutionary “perching saddle” to create a semi-standing cabin.

Fairuz Romli, an aerospace engineering professor at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, has published a study showing that new forms of seating could reduce airfares to bus-ticket levels.

Using a B737-300 as an example, his study calculates that a standing cabin would pack 21% more passengers into the aircraft and drop ticket prices by as much as 44% on a full-service airline.

It’s hard to think of any full-service airline adopting the idea, however. Even cut-price carriers are shrinking from it, though the concept has been researched by Airbus, China’s Spring Airlines and Ireland’s Ryanair.

Ryanair says it found getting past the regulatory hurdles just too hard and has dropped the idea.

A few diehards still insist the concept has legs (without legroom). They point out that commuters on buses and trains travel standing for an hour or so without undue hardship.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. Ken Buzza says:

    It all still comes down to safety, more passengers mean more exits in an emergency, more exits, mean extra Crew to man the exits. Not exactly a cost saving measure, really.!!

  2. Peter says:

    Great idea until you have to evacuate 180 passengers out of 8 little doors and that’s if all 8 doors are usable in an emergency, in 90 seconds, not to mention the added weight of another 30 passengers, adding to the fuel cost along with the potential weight of extra baggage, cramming more people in will not bring fares down and they should not, airfares need to rise, as they have actually gone backwards in my 25 years in this industry, compared to wages today, air travel is actually one of the best value products we can buy today

  3. Anne says:

    Its all a matter of greed really, nothing to do with cost saving. Where are the governments involved, they should and could, ban these seats for health and safety reasons or is it that airlines are untouchable?

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