In the saddle: the new way to fly?

After being reviled for suggesting the introduction of ‘vertical seats’ to his planes recently, budget airline boss Michael O’Leary must be sitting pretty with the unveiling of the 'Skyrider' seat in America this week.

In true American style, the plane seat is inspired by saddles used by cowboys, the Daily Mail reports. The makers, Italian aircraft seat design company Aviointeriors, claim you can sit on a horse for long periods of time and not feel discomfort so why not on a plane?

They are confident that the new seat design, set to make its debut at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas conference in Long Beach, California, will appeal to airlines wanting to make flights more profitable. Legroom between these seats would be reduced from 30 to 23 inches, so more passengers could be squeezed into the cabin. Passengers would pay less to sit in this seating area.

O’Leary’s plans for a narrow shelf-like perch were scuppered by European aviation authorities on safety grounds, as EU rules state that passengers must be provided with a seat. Gaetano Perugini, Aviointeriors' director of research and development, insists that Skyrider is unlikely to encounter this problem. 'You are sitting on a special seat, but it is a seat’, he said.

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