Monday, August 06, 2007

A smoker's airline?

I guess there had to be a backlash eventually. A German former stockbroker, Alexander W. Schoppmann, has started something called Smoker's International Airways, or Smintair. He complains that "Other airlines have lost every kind of sympathy for their passengers by leaps and bounds. What all of those carriers want these days is for you to stay in the seat, and you better bloody well stay there, and don't even ask for anything to eat or drink." Smintair will have Boeing 747s configured for 138 passengers rather than the usual 400 or so, and will encourage patrons to get up, go to bars, smoke, drink, mingle and even gamble.

Schoppmann is still a ways away from being operational. But Smintair has won a landing slot at Duesseldorf International and permission to fly into Nagoya Japan. He's finalizing purchase of his first plane and hopes to start flying early next year. It will be expensive, of course, a luxury for the wealthy, but a number of new airlines are starting up planning to cater to the high-end niche.

It will be interesting to see if it works.

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