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Spring Airlines slows expansion due to pilot shortage; strategy evolves


Spring Airlines, since its establishment in 2005, has defied the odds by growing rapidly and profitably in the heavily regulated Chinese market that favours the larger, state-owned carriers. While it has had success as the nation’s largest LCC, it has faced a number of challenges. The latest hurdle is a lack of pilots, which is forcing the carrier to curtail its growth and enact a change in strategy. [1660 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Fleet of 24 A320s, 16 aircraft on order
  • China to need 72,700 pilots by 2030
  • Slowing growth rate, targetting business travellers and planning JVs¬†
  • To conduct IPO in 2011 or 2012
  • Spring Airlines to establish second operating base in Shijiazhuang
  • Spring Airlines' 2010 profits surge 240%

Graphs and data:

  • Spring Airlines owned vs leased for aircraft¬† (in service at 04-Jul-2011)
  • Shijiazhuang Daguocun Airport capacity (seats per week, to/from) by carrier (04-Jul-2011 to 10-Jul-2011)
  • Spring Airlines Passenger Numbers (2009 to 2011)
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