Spring Airlines’ Japan subsidiary, Spring Airlines Japan has reportedly been approved (Times Weekly, 13-Jun-2013). Spring Airlines holds a 33% stake in the start-up. As previously reported, Spring Airlines Japan delayed its launch in the Japan domestic market from spring 2013 to the end of 2013 or early 2014 due to delays in its approval from Japan MLIT. Spring Airlines Japan has applied to operate services from Tokyo Narita to Kumamoto, Hiroshima and Takamatsu. The carrier is also reportedly considering operating its international service from Tokyo Narita after 2014.
Spring Airlines Japan approved, delays launch to 2014: report
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Spring Airlines turns 10: regulatory support and IPO lend support to bolder international expansion
There are few better birthday presents than a near guarantee that the next 10 years should be momentously better than the first 10. Spring Airlines marked its 10th anniversary on 18-Jul-2015, having amassed a fleet of 50 A320s and passenger volume of 11.5 million in 2014. Spring is China's most notable low-cost carrier, yet even these figures represent under-achievement in terms of what should be possible. This is scarcely the fault of Spring, which planned for 100 aircraft in 2015 but was repeatedly held back by regulator CAAC.
Now the CAAC holds Spring up as a model for efficiency and success, and is welcoming other local LCCs. Foreign carriers are increasingly taking note of Spring's practices as it has the strongest low cost position in what will soon be the world's largest market. Spring has received approval to double its fleet to 100 aircraft in 2018.
China airline growth: 57% international surge while domestic holds up and Hong Kong/Macau fall
As questions reverberate about China's economy and slowing growth, what are the impacts to Chinese aviation, home to the world's second-largest domestic market?
The good news is 1Q2015 traffic from China's airlines is comfortably robust, increasing 13% and surpassing 100 million passengers for the first time. Domestic growth remained at 11%, with Chinese airlines carrying an additional 9 million domestic passengers in 1Q2015 compared to 1Q2014 – equivalent to an additional 656 737 flights a day.
International growth has picked up giant steam, surging 57% in 1Q2015 – equivalent to an additional 64 A380 flights a day. But overall international traffic remains small for Chinese airlines, accounting for only about 7% of total carriage – the same as in 2008 but higher than more recent years. Regional growth has slowed to 5% as Hong Kong and Macau are not as attractive as they used to be.
More worryingly for Taiwan, that market is starting to show a contraction in Chinese visitors, perhaps as they head to seemingly more exotic regional Asian points like Japan, Korea and Thailand. Those three countries will attract the highest growth from Chinese airlines in summer 2015.