New Zealand, home of the kiwi, a flightless, chicken-sized bird with hair-like feathers and a long curved beak with nostrils at it's tip; home also to the kakapo, the world's largest parrot (up to 3.5kg.), which is also flightless, lives in underground burrows and has whiskers which it drags along the ground while it walks bent forward. (This is all true.)
Following on from these natural wonders a new airline, Kiwi Air, was announced in Auckland today. Managing Director Doug Ramsbottom said in a press conference that the time has come for a new approach. "The amount of greenhouse gases produced by the world's airlines will, by 2050, equal the total of all current emissions from all sources. We must change or perish, and I'm buggered if I'm going to perish!!".
Kiwi Air is planned to be the world's first flightless airline.
Kiwi Air will be launched as soon as global carbon trading becomes a reality, and is considered to be a viable long-term proposition. Ticket sales will be made as usual, with seating allocation and boarding passes issued, however, the flights will never take off.
Mr. Ramsbottom explained: "By not taking off and flying to our stated destinations we will save a considerable amount of carbon emissions. These can then be traded on the world market and provide a cash flow to the airline. Ticket holders can apply for a refund, although many business travellers will choose not to do so, but will instead claim carbon credits for the flight they didn't make and so reduce their own carbon taxes. It's a win-win situation."
The fact that flights will not be made will also mean that Kiwi Air will only be required to own one aircraft, it will not need to be airworthy, landing rights will not be purchased, terminal space will not be leased and maintenance will be negligible. In flight food and beverage costs will also be relatively low - in fact non-existent.