Earlier this year, Michael O’Leary, the eccentric Chief Executive of low budget airline Ryanair, set out proposals for vertical seats abroad his airplanes which were later quashed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Now a radical new airplane seat that Ryainair may try could increase passenger capacity by 40% and has been unveiled in Long Beach, New York.

The SkyRider is a compact seat which resembles a saddle and was designed and manufactured by Italy-based Avioninteriors.

Passengers in the saddle like SkyRider are in a semi-standing position. The seats have been designed to allow only 23 inches of space between each row of seats where as traditional airline seats are 31-35 inches apart. It is yet to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration or snapped up by any major airline.

Dominique Menoud, director general of Aviointeriors Group said the SkyRider would only be used for short flights.

“For flights anywhere from one to possibly even up to three hours this would be comfortable seating,” he said.

Menoud added that the saddle like structure was key to the design, “The seat is like a saddle. Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle.”

Unveiled at an Aircraft Interiors expo in New York, the new design met with a lot of skepticism from consumers who struggled to squeeze into the tightly-spaced seats.