With only two planes to its name, you may think Samoa Air is a fly-by-night operation, but it’s proving to be a fly-by-weight one.

The airline has introduced a new policy in which passengers are charged based on their weight. Rates begin at $1 per kilogram from Samoa Air’s shortest domestic flight to $4.16 per kilogram on flights from Samoa to American Samoa. Cost is determined by adding a passenger’s weight and baggage. One kilogram is equal to 2.2 pounds.

While the policy may sound offbeat and controversial, Samoa Air chief executive Chris Langton said it actually makes quite a bit of sense because “Airplanes don’t run on seats, they run on weight.”

Langton said the rule is not biased in any capacity:

This is the fairest way of traveling. There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything -- it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.”

And, yes, while a person who's eaten one too many double cheeseburgers runs the risk of paying extra for a seat, there’s also a chance to save some money while the airline combats an obesity crisis plaguing the nation. Langton said, "People who have been most pleasantly surprised are families, because we don't charge on the seat requirement even though a child is required to have a seat, we just weigh them.”

Samoa Air is a relatively small outfit, with only two planes in its fleet. It only offers flights within Samoa or to American Samoa.

[Australian Broadcasting Corporation]