msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 6/30/2009 7:03:59 PM ET 2009-06-30T23:03:59

How can an airline pack 40 percent more passengers onto a plane, trim costs by 20 percent and lower airfares for its customers?

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By offering "standing" seats.

Seriously.

China's Spring Airlines, in an effort to handle a growing number of passengers, is considering selling standing-room tickets. A spokesperson said the carrier has been mulling the idea since the beginning of the year.

"The process of plane making is really long," spokesman Zhang Wuan told CCTV. "We already ordered 14 new jets. But some of them will only be delivered next year. And you have to wait for at least 5 years to lease a plane, and it is also very expensive."

"It's just like bar stools," he added. "The safety belt is the the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist."

Spring could submit its plan to aviation regulators by the year's end.

The private airline operates just 13 planes — not enough to cope with growing demand.

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