Setting up an airline is an incredibly expensive endeavour, but that
hasn't stopped certain entrepreneurs from starting a number of niche
airlines in the hope catering to specific sections of society and
returning a profit. The following five niche airlines are perfect
examples; a couple of them successful, others not so, but all
1. Hooters Air
It's somewhat surprising to learn that Hooters, the world famous chain
of restaurants, even had an airline, let alone managed to sustain the
operation of one for almost three years. The airline was essentially a
flying advertisement for the brand; its six planes dressed in the
familiar orange colour scheme and the aircraft's attractive on-board
staff sporting the chain's traditional figure-hugging attire. Its
target market - golfers - was also niche, and may have contributed to
the airline's demise in 2006.
Visit Hooters Air's Wikipedia page here
2. Smoker's International Airways
For a non-smoker, travelling with German airline Smintair (Smoker's
International Airways) would be quite the uncomfortable experience, but
for fans of cigarettes and cigars such a service could possibly be just
the ticket and the perfect way to silence those mid-air withdrawal
pangs. Unfortunately for those smokers, the airline's launch was put on
indefinite hold back in 2007 following a ruling by German authorities
that resulted in a ban on smoking on scheduled flights; quite a
stumbling block for a company attempting to cater for exactly that. The
airline's founder, Alexander Schoppmann, hasn't publicly discussed
Smintair's future since 2007. A similar, U.S. based airline - Smokers Express - failed to see the light of day back in the 1990s.
Smintair's now-defunct website can be experienced via the Wayback Machine.
3. Naked Air
At 10:45AM on May 3rd of 2003, Naked Air's first and, to date, only
ever flight departed from Miami to Cancun. The premise was
unsurprising: during said flight, all ninety air-bound passengers -
each of whom had paid $499 for the return trip - were permitted to shed
their pesky clothing and enjoy the journey as naked as the day they
were born. According to the Naked Air website, the following rules were
adhered to during the flight:
1) Crew remained clothed throughout the flight.
2) Passengers only disrobed.
3) Inappropriate behavior was not condoned.
4) No hot coffee was served.
5) Cabin temperature was carefully controlled by the captain for nude passengers.
6) Complimentary towels provided for all nude passengers.
That flesh-filled website (which is obviously NSFW due to masses of nudity) can be found here.
4. Pet Airways
Launched in 2009 to much fanfare amongst animal lovers, Pet Airways is
apparently, and rather surprisingly, the only airline in the world
dedicated to flying pets from city to city. The airline, which
currently serves just a handful of U.S. destinations, was founded by
Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder as a result of a troublesome experience
when attempting to travel with their own dog. Animals -
known on-board as 'pawsengers' - travel in the main cabin and are
watched over by trained pet attendants throughout the flight. One can
assume that to date many of the airline's furry passengers have at
least attempted to join the Mile High Club with other travellers,
although official statistics are unknown.
The Pet Airways website can be located here.
5. Erotic Airways
For those amorous thrill-seekers who are scared rather than excited by
the thought of getting caught in the toilets mid-clinch, a safer
entrance to the Mile High Club can be found by booking a flight with
the bluntly named Erotic Airways in Queensland, Australia. The
single-aircraft airline's purpose is not, as would be expected of most
arlines, to take passengers from A to B, but rather A to A in a plane
decked out with an enormous bed and very few seats. You can choose
either a 45 or 60 minute flight, and even plan larger 'parties' by
paying a surcharge for any additional passengers. Naturally, champagne
and chocolates are supplied by the crew.
Visit Erotic Airways' NSFW website by clicking here.