Will Spring Airlines become the first S.R.O. carrier?


China’s Spring Airlines has a problem. It doesn’t have enough planes to meet demand for its flights. And while it has ordered more planes, it has another solution: standing flights: “for a lower price, passengers should be able to get on a plane like catching a bus, with no seat, no luggage consignment, no food, no water,” said Spring’s president Wang Zhenghua. It will still be, he insists, “very convenient.”

By herding passengers onto the plane like cattle, the airline will be able to squeeze on 40% more people. They will still have to wear safety belts, however, although it sounds like they’ll be strapped in somewhat uncomfortably. “It’s just like bar stools,” Spring’s Zhang Wuan told China’s CCTV.”The safety belt is the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist.”

This doesn’t actually sound too bad, especially if it means that seated passengers could also stand up and stretch their legs without being constantly harassed by flight attendants brutally wielding trolleys. The plan is still in the baby stages, though, and Spring is considering whether to submit the idea to China’s regulators.