Monday, September 04, 2006


Puff, puff and away

Smoker's International Airways (SIA) is not your average business venture. The carrier, expected to begin luxury service with only business and first-class seats early next year, plans daily flights between Düsseldorf and Tokyo. The 12 -hour journey will not be faint of heart or those concerned about their lungs. In a throwback to the 1970's (should satisfy Margaret Wente), there will be smoking allowed and encouraged on the airline.

The rationale for the airline (according to the founder) is simply hilarious:

Air travel used to be a luxury experience. Today the prices are exploding, and the service is going down to zilch. We want to bring back the joy of flying.

Considering the amount of money I put on the table for the ticket, I don't understand why somebody should be able to tell me I can't do what I like.

Many people simply don't travel long distances anymore because they can't smoke. That has to be why they invented videoconferencing.

Far be it from me to challenge the owner's business model. The market will decide whether this venture is a success or a failure. I would assume recruiting workers into the smoke bowl will be interesting.

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