Tag: cost-effectiveness

There has been talk for some time about the possibility of standing room on flights, but it is hardly surprising that this has been rejected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Not the safest option, you might say, nor the comfiest – certainly not for a long haul flight to the other side of the world! However, this could be coming closer to reality, as we see The Skyrider, which is a new saddle-style airplane designed by Avioninteriors. It has yet to be snapped up, but Ryanair could be top of the list with their plans for a new style of flying.

It may not be quite what you imagine – you don’t literally stand up in the stalls at the front of the aircraft. Passengers will have seats, but these seats give a completely new meaning to ‘upright seats’. Seats would be 23 inches apart (some 10 inches closer than we’re used to), but they would only be available for flights up to 3 hours. Despite the publicity, the design is yet to be approved. Ryanair believe that such a design would increase passenger capacity by some 40%. However, passengers remain rather skeptical, as many struggled to fit in to the seats when it was unveiled in New York.

Technological development is vital in any dynamic industry, but is this one step too far? One day, it could be a game of sardines when packing passengers into a plane!

New airline seat for Ryanair resembles a saddle Irish Central, Molly Muldoon (18/9/10)
New plane ‘saddle’ would pack in passengers Edmonton Journal (19/9/10)
Ryanair one step closer to fulfilling dream of getting more people on each plane Travel News, Natalie Cooper (16/9/10)
Budget airlines love bad new stories about how cramped their planes are Telegraph, Harry Mount (15/9/10)
Behold! The world’s most cramped airline seat Reuters, Charlie Sorrel (13/9/10)

Questions

  1. Is it a rational decision for a passenger to travel in a new upright seat?
  2. Is it a cost-effective strategy for Ryanair or any other airline to adopt? Explain (a) why it is, but also explain (b) why it may not be cost-effective.
  3. Using a diagram, illustrate the opportunity cost to an airline of providing more upright seats.
  4. If successive airlines adopt the new saddle style seats, what is likely to happen to the price of such seats?
  5. As passengers become aware of these cheaper seats, what is likely to happen to the market price? Illustrate this on a diagram.
  6. If Ryanair were the only airline to offer such seats, does this mean it would have a monopoly? Explain your answer.