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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mauka, mauka to Feviquick advt ..... standing seats on aircrafts

‘Mauka, mauka’ ad campaign of Star Cricket is almost ended….. the first in Series was of Pak fan in Karachi waiting since 1992 to burst crackers and celebrate victory over India in a World Cup.   Pak has lost to Australia in the WC 2015 and Aussies would meet India in the Semis – NZ have also stormed to Semi and would play SA.  The Pak fan will have to wait for 4 more years and worser still, if in the next itinerary – India and Pakistan are not in the same half.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act  - ‘Carrying capacity’ (in Public transport vehicle) means the no. of seats plus the standees authorised as part of carrying capacity and excludes the seats allotted to the operating crew.  Standees would mean the no. of persons permitted to be carried in the bus over and above the no. of seats.  The MV Act prescribes that only 25 standees are allowed in stage carriages and this would be clearly specified in the permit.  Those who flout the provision could face imprisonment or fine as also cancellation of the route permit.    …and it is common knowledge that in bustling cities, there are so many persons standing in vehicles !  On a different plane the noun ‘Stand-off’ would mean a situation in which one force or party neutralizes or counterbalances the other and further action is prevented.  A Standstill is a stand-off between demonstrators and the Police. 

The Wagah border closing 'lowering of the flags' ceremony  is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959.  The ceremony starts with a  parade by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations' flags.

There have been advertisements – Fewiquick commercials have attracted viewers.   A few years back, a cool fisherman unlike others would apply drops of feviquick to his fishing rod –  it was a hit showing the man with his emotions able to catch fish faster and easier than the others waiting nearer !  Now in the recently launched Video series, in the ceremony of Indo Pak soldiers, the Pak man lifts his leg and is shown a torn shoe, which is quickly placed back with feviquick touch of Indian soldier without making others realise !

Though with no direct correlation to all the above – how comfortable are you in travelling standing in a bus or a train ? ~ in OMR and in all other city roads, as also in trains, there are milling crowds and people do not mind standing [not that they have any option !]…. Often they say in comparison, that in planes one cannot be asked to get down midway and one cannot stand during the travel ! – perhaps the latter too could become a thing of the past.

News reports suggest that  Chinese budget carrier plans 'vertical seats' for flights (and claims it had the idea before Ryanair.  Spring Airlines said it would offer cheaper fares for those willing to stand. Chairman Wang Zhenghua said he began looking at the concept in 2008…….. Shanghai-based budget carrier offers one-way fares as low as £1 ($1.50) ~ it is stated that Ryanair floated the idea in 2009 but its attempt was stopped by a regulator.

China’s first budget airline is poised to lobby industry regulators for permission to install standing-only ‘seats’ on its planes so it can cram more people on board.  Shanghai-based Spring Airlines said it would offer cheaper fares to those who are willing to stand at a vertical seat, according to China National Radio. It’s not the first time the idea has been floated – Dublin-based Ryanair famously proposed selling standing-only tickets in 2009 to increase passenger traffic and cut costs.  China's Spring Airlines wants to install 'vertical seats' on its planes so it can cram more passengers on board.

Customers told China National Radio that they would be hesitant to buy a ticket for a vertical seat out of safety concerns. One told the broadcaster that she fears passengers would be injured when the plane flies through bad weather or is rocked by turbulence.  Even though designs have been proposed and no-frills airlines have expressed interest, the vertical seat concept has not taken off because it hasn’t received approval from authorities.

Ryanair abandoned its proposal in 2012 after it was thwarted by an unnamed regulator. The Irish carrier planned to install ten rows of vertical seats on its planes – increasing capacity by about 40 passengers – and charge less than £5 to travellers who were willing to stand. Airbus filed a patent for a new seat that is similar to a bicycle saddle that flips up when it is not in use. Italian firm Aviointeriors designed the ‘Skyrider’ seat, which was inspired by saddles used by cowboys.  The design, intended for short-haul flights, would increase capacity for airlines and leave passengers with even less space. In that seat passengers would sit at an angle with just 23in of legroom between them and the seat in front of them – about seven inches less than the average seat pitch on most planes.

So standees on a seat in air – sounds bundle of contradictions, yet could become a reality.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Mar 2015. 

Source - 15th Feb 2015.

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