Chinese airline considers making passengers stand for flight

An employee of Spring Airlines stands next to an Airbus A320 aircraft at Hongqiao airport in...

An employee of Spring Airlines stands next to an Airbus A320 aircraft at Hongqiao airport in Shanghai July 6, 2012. REUTERS/Aly Song

QMI Agency, with files from Reuters

, Last Updated: 2:32 PM ET

China's Spring Airlines is considering a standing-room-only class for flights in exchange for lower ticket prices, reports the U.K.'s Telegraph.

Passengers would still have seatbelts, but seating would be more like "bar stools," the airline's president said, and that switching to standing seats would increase the airplane's capacity by 40%.

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"We need many other conditions to make it work, like working together with airplane manufacturers, getting the approval from the authorities and having the consumers accept the idea," the airline's spokesperson told China National Radio.

Ryanair, a budget carrier from Ireland, has also expressed interest in pursuing standing seating, but aviation authorities have been reluctant due to safety issues.

Spring Airlines saw its share price more than double within just six days of listing on the Shanghai stock exchange, making it Asia's most valuable budget carrier. Shares gained the daily limit of 10% each day since hitting the debut maximum of 44% on Jan. 21. That made the airline worth 15.29 billion yuan ($2.45 billion).

Spring has managed to undercut its larger state-owned rivals with stringent cost control and a no-frills approach. Spring filled more planes more often last year than domestic rivals, reporting China's highest average passenger load factor of 95%. The airline has also been profitable since its first full year of operation in 2006.