An Italian manufacturer has unveiled the latest version of its upright ultra-economy seats.

What stands to be a huge gain for airlines may come at economy passengers' loss.

Designed by Aviointeriors, these utilitarian seats represent a "new frontier of low-cost tickets and passenger experience."

The prototype was unveiled to industry members at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

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The seat design, called the Skyrider 3.0, looks like little more than a bicycle seat with back and armrests.

Racks of Skyriders allow up to 20 per cent more passengers on an aircraft - as long as they don't mind standing.

The latest incarnation takes the "standing seat" concept a step closer to reality – with added features including a coat hook and tiny folding tray-tables.

However what the aircraft designers give with one hand, they take away with the other.

Instead of an original 71 centimetres of leg room, this has shrunk to just 59.

The company that designed the seat, Aviointeriors, said; "The Skyrider sitting surface is higher than a standard seat.

"This height, in conjunction with other features, allows to place rows of Skyrider at an installation pitch of 23" (59 cm) with an acceptable comfort for the passenger.

"While a standard economy seat ensures the maximum capacity only in all economy class arrangement, the above characteristics permit to fill the aircraft cabin with the maximum allowed number of passengers (per type certificate) in a multi-class configurations."

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The seats are designed to comply with seating arrangements on the Airbus A321 and A320 and Boeing's 737 aircraft. These aircraft are generally used on short-haul routes.

Skyrider 2.0: The company has shaved 13 centimetres off the last prototype. Photo / Aviointeriors
Skyrider 2.0: The company has shaved 13 centimetres off the last prototype. Photo / Aviointeriors

As well as cramming more economy (read "passengers") into an aircraft cabin, the seat is designed to make savings for airlines in other spaces.

The seats weigh 50 per cent less than a normal aircraft seat. They are also far simpler, with fewer parts leading to "minimum maintenance costs."

If Aviointeriors is to be believed, this chair represents the "new frontier" for low-cost flights.

Hopefully some of these savings will be passed on to the passenger in the form of cheaper fares.

According to the Daily Mail a survey conducted by Ryanair found that 80000 of 120000 passengers would consider an upright seats, but only if they received a 50 per cent fare reduction.

Half the price for half the seat size. Sounds like a fair arrangement.