Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Airbus to return to its roots as a transporter of the masses

Airbus Industrie, after a long and glorious career of transporting passengers in relative luxury and comfort through the air, is planning on returning back to its roots as a purveyor of the masses (via RawStory).

The company, which was founded in 1970 by Pierre Francois, a Paris bus driver who, after having had enough of the city's notorious traffic congestion caused by jaywalking American tourists, decided to invent an alternative mode of transport for his clientelle. The first airbus was literally a bus with plastic wings attached to its windows that enabled it to fly through traffic signals and jams. Soon the fledgeling company grew into a multinational conglomerate, ceasing production of its older winged buses, instead, applying modern aerospace technology to develop sleek new planes capable of seating passengers in comfortably upholstered chairs instead of requiring them to stand near the driver-pilot chatting about the weather.

Now, with most of the world mired in economic turmoil and recession, Airbus is planning on making air travel again accessible to the masses. With passengers being required to stand in the aisle throughout the duration of the flight, enjoying the sweaty aroma emanating from each other's armpits, this new business model is sure to attract a lot of attention from commuters in cities like New York and Chicago who are already acclimatized to these conditions on their subway systems and actually kind of miss those strange hands groping their privates on a normal plane flight.

Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert says he has many more innovative ideas to propel the company forward especially in high-growth markets such as Asia and Africa. Apart from saving space by making people stand on the plane, the new Airbus business model also involves plans to have a two-tier pricing system where coach-class passengers will be bent into the shape of a chair so as to allow business-class passengers to recline on them. Future proposals to reduce operating costs also include the design of hybrid planes where coach-class passengers will be required to collectively blow into mouthpieces attached to dual human-powered jet engines while they are being urged on by business class passengers sporting whips and paintball guns.

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