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Pay-by-weight air fares take off

AFP-JIJI

The head of a tiny Pacific airline that pioneered a fare system based on passengers’ weight says the move had been so successful the carrier is upgrading its fleet.

Samoa Air introduced its world-first system late last year, when it began charging passengers fares based on how much they weigh, rather than a set price for each seat.

Chief Executive Chris Langton said the charge of 1.34 tala (57.5 cents) per kilogram had proved popular over the first 12 months, as it meant cheaper fares for most passengers.

The World Health Organization says Samoa has one of the world’s highest rates of obesity, leading to soaring levels of weight-related coronary disease, diabetes and strokes.

Langton said larger airlines are considering similar approaches. “There’s massive discussion going on about how pay-by-weight can be transferred to larger airplanes,” he said.