July 12, 2006 It’s one of the largest, most committed and most ignored niche markets that’s ever existed, so the news that Smoker’s International Airways (SMINTAIR) is planning to take to the skies in March 2007 catering just for smokers has that familiar flash of the “bleeding obvious” that accompanies any winning idea. Back in 1964 when the inaugural United States Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health enlightened the world about the dangers of tobacco usage, the practice of cigarette smoking was quite fashionable. Remarkably, more than two thirds of all US males smoked at that time and in some countries, the smokers numbered three in every four males. Since then education has enabled smoking rates to halve, though in most countries at least 20% of the adult population still smokes. Throughout this period, two countries have remained steadfast in upholding smokers rights – Germany and Japan where more than a third of all adults still smoke. The prospective airline envisions a return to the values of the sixties, complete with plenty of legroom, a pampering of the passengers, beautiful hostesses and the ability to smoke anywhere you wish – ALL SMINTAIR seats will be smoking seats. Logically, the first SMINTAIR 747 will fly between Dusseldorf and Narita (Tokyo).
The airline is currently in fund raising mode which should be no problem with former stockbroker Alexander W. Schoppmann at the helm – Mr Schoppmann’s thoughts on the philosophy of the airline offer an entertaining read.