Spring Airlines becomes first private-owned airline to start international service with Shanghai-Tokyo/ Ibaraki
Shanghai-based Spring Airlines is one of just a handful or private airlines in China. A subsidiary of a major travel company, the low-cost airline recently celebrated five years of operations by launching its first charter flights on 28 July to Ibaraki airport in Japan, which it describes as “the new Tokyo gateway”. In 2009 the airline carried 4.3 million passengers at a load factor in excess of 90%. Since then the carrier has seen its fleet of A320s grow from 14 to 20 so around 6 million passengers are likely to be handled in 2010.
Aircraft shared across both Shanghai airports
Analysis of the airline’s published flight schedules indicated that 10 aircraft are based at Shanghai Hongqiao airport while a further eight are based at Shanghai’s Pudong airport. The remaining two A320s appear to be based in Shenyang. From Shanghai Hongqiao 19 domestic destinations are served non-stop as scheduled flights while from Shanghai Pudong the total is 11.
|From Shanghai Hongqiao||From Shanghai Pudong|
|Three daily flights||Guangzhou, Shijiazhuang, Xiamen||Dalian, Shenyang|
|Two daily flights||Hohehot||Changchun, Chongqing, Harbin, Qingdao|
|Daily flights||Changsha, Fuzhou, Huaihua, Jinjiang, Mianyang, Shantou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Urumqi, Wenzhou, Yinchuan, Zhuhai||Guiyang, Lanzhou, Nanning, Xiamen, Xi’an|
|Less than daily flights||Changde, Nanchang, Qingdao|
|Source: Analysis of airline website flight schedule data|
No route is currently served with more than three daily flights, but only three routes are not operated at least daily. Nearly all of the fleet take to the air between 07:00 and 07:50, and some aircraft do not return to base until 00:50 the following morning.