Lonely Planet Writer

Standing plane journeys could be possible with these upright seats

A new seat prototype has been unveiled that could see passengers practically standing on flights using horse-saddle-style seating. Conceived as a way to increase capacity on planes, Skyrider 3.0 was unveiled at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg by Italian seating company Aviointeriors.

The Skyrider 3.0 was unveiled in Hamburg. Image: Aviointeriors

The design of the seat is aimed at enabling airlines to increase passenger numbers by 20%, which could hopefully lead to cheaper passenger tickets. The seating is arranged in a formation known in the industry as ‘ultra-high density,’ and it weighs 50% less than a standard economy seat and has a reduced number of components, which makes it cheaper and easier to maintain.

The Skyrider 3.0 comprises saddle-type seating. Image: Aviointeriors

The seats resemble a horse’s saddle rather than a traditional seat, and they have a raised section in the middle. They are suited to journeys of a shorter duration as passengers place a leg on either side and lean rather than sit, and the manufacturers say they would be suitable for flights of up to three hours duration. They would not be comfortable enough for longer duration flights as the legroom is diminished from around 28 inches to 23.

The Skyrider 2.0 had a pole between the seats. Image Aviointeriors

This new design is very similar to previous versions of the seat, including the Skyrider 2.0, which was unveiled at last year’s expo. The difference is that the new design doesn’t include a pole between the seats to connect them to the floor and ceiling, as the previous version did, and a coat hook has been introduced. The next hurdle to overcome is that civil aviation authorities have not yet approved the use of vertical seats like this one in any country to date.