Spring Airlines slows expansion due to pilot shortage
Spring Airlines Chairman Wang Zhenghua stated it has slowed its expansion plans due to a shortage of pilots (Bloomberg, 07-Jul-2011). The airline now intends to have as many as 50 aircraft in service by 2015, compared with a previous target of 100. The carrier has already hired more than 20 foreign crewmembers for its 24 A320s, and it plans to support training for as many as 150 cadets p/a to ease future growth, Mr Wang said. Spring Airlines expects to handle 7 million passengers in 2011, up from 5.8 million in 2010. The carrier intends to conduct a Shanghai IPO in 2011 or 2012 to support growth plans, Mr Wang said. It has hired brokerages to arrange the sale, he said, although no further details were provided.
Spring Airlines: “The shortage of pilots is a problem for the whole industry after years of rapid growth. It is the biggest restriction to our development. Shareholders want to see Spring have a good and stable development. They don’t want to see any damage caused by overly aggressive expansion ... We used to only care about price-sensitive leisure travellers, but now we want to tap business travellers who want good prices and also a quiet environment," Wang Zhenghua, Chairman. Source: Bloomberg, 07-Jul-2011.