The SkyRider 2.0 solves two problems for airlines: it lets them pack in more passengers and it gives those passengers more leg room.
At the Airliners Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, last week, an Italian company showed the Skyrider 2.0, a "saddle seat" designed for an ultra-high-density economy cabin. The director general of Aviointeriors had an explanation for the saddle-style design decision back in 2010, pointing out to USA Today that, "cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle".
The company is hoping that a little extra padding and the addition of poles connecting rows of the seats to the cabin from floor to ceiling will help this latest edition garner a little more interest than its forerunner.
The innovative seat allows an ultra-high density in the aircraft cabin.
Aviointeriors unveiled the SkyRider 2.0 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in Hamburg.
The seat features a sloping, saddle-type bottom that would require passengers to use their feet to support some of their weight, and an upright seat back.
What's more, since all modern aircraft can only carry up to a certain maximum number of people (so they can exit quickly in an emergency) airlines wouldn't be able to add the seats at will without any regulatory oversight. It also weighs 50% less than standard economy class seats-after all, it's half the size-lowering the fuel cost per passenger.
No airline has yet taken the plunge, but this is not the first time the idea of a "standing seat" has been floated.
Airbus proposed the idea of standing room flights as early as 2003 and in 2010, Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary announced that he was considering introducing special standing-room only areas of his airplanes.
Some airlines have voiced enthusiasm - United Kingdom budget carrier RyanAir briefly flirted with the idea in 2010 before abandoning the plan, while VivaColombia said previous year it was thinking about it. Skyrider 2.0 opens the travelling experience to a wider passenger market, creating also a useful space for the introduction mixed classes boarded on the same aircraft. That's 5 inches less than the seat pitch on Spirit Airlines, one of the most no-frills airlines there is.
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