Seoul, South Korea - Chinese low-cost operator Spring Airlines said it is missing precious runway slots and unable to launch new routes as planned because of delivery delays from Airbus.
The delays in the A320neo deliveries force the Shanghai-based airline to suspend its growth plans. Spring Airlines has currently six Airbus A320neo and another 54 on order, including 15 A321neo.
The budget carrier was expecting to take delivery of ten units by the and of this year, but two of them were delayed to 2020 by the manufacturer.
“In China, the slots are very difficult to get. When we apply for the slots, we need the aircraft to fulfill them. If we cannot get the aircraft on time, we cannot keep the slots,” Spring's chairman Stephen Wang said during the sidelines of the IATA's annual meeting in Seoul.
Airbus did not comment on the issue. The European manufacturer currently has 5600 A320neo family jets on its backlog scheduled for delivery to its customers around the world.
Spring Airlines is the first and biggest low-cost carriers of China. The all-Airbus airline's fleet comprises 86 Airbus A320 jets (80 Airbus A320-200 and six Airbus A320neo).
Spring Airlines will receive its first of 15 A321neo in 2020. But the airlines, including Spring, may face longer delivery delays for their A321neos, according to the European manufacturer.