China's Spring Airlines moving closer to starting international flights

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China's Spring Airlines plans to apply for rights to start international services to Japan, Korea and Singapore this year.

The low-cost carrier already has government approval to begin international operations, but needs to apply to the Civil Aviation Administration of China to start individual routes, says Spring's chairman Wang Zheng Hua.

"We hope to do that sometime this year," he adds.

The airline operates 15 Airbus A320s, and expects to increase this to 21 by July as aircraft from a previous order arrive, says Wang.

Spring will have a fleet of 30 A320s by end-2011, he adds.

The airline had said previously it plans to operate 100 A320s by 2015. "This is proceeding according to plan," says Wang.