Smintair (Smokers” International Airways) has moved a step further in its campaign to offer nervous passengers and nicotine addicts a gateway to the Far East.
The airline has confirmed slots at both Nagoya and D”sseldorf airports for its first planned route.
Conceived by German businessman, Alexander Schoppmann (pictured), the airline says that it plans to start services from the central Japan airport to D”sseldorf in October, although no actual introduction date has been confirmed.
Using a pair of former South African Airways Boeing 747s and with technical backing from Lufthansa, the airline will take the ”business only” concept one stage further. The Boeing will have only 138 first class and business class seats.
Smintair plans to have a lounge on the top deck of the aircraft and a cocktail bar serving oysters and caviar, plus a further lounge at the rear of the aircraft. There is, what is claimed to be, an advanced air-conditioning system on board, designed to keep the interior fresh.
Since 2000, all of the world's busiest international routes have been essentially smoke-free. Within the US, the government has banned in-flight smoking for almost two decades.
With England about to become ”fug less”, at least indoors, Schoppmann is outspoken with his comments and attitude, with his website directed at potential airline customers.
”I have been asked by different media, many times: Why are you against the smoking bans, as they can only enhance your business? My reply to that question is always: I put freedom before everything,” he said.
While claiming to encourage journalists to contact him he does not speak to everyone: ”Mr Schoppmann refrains from taking part in live ”talk-shows” which are staged right from the start [and] paid by the broadcasting station, making a thorough discussion impossible,” says his press office.
In Schoppmann”s view the ban on smoking is a dereliction of his human rights. Puff your way to the Far East. In fact he expects the majority of passengers to originate from Japan.