Spring Airlines (9C, Shanghai Hongqiao) and other budget and cargo carriers serving the economic hub of Shanghai could soon be forced to relocate their operations away from the city's two main airports - Shanghai Hongqiao and Shanghai Pudong - as they struggle to cope with rapidly increasing traffic demand.

With the two airports' combined annual passenger traffic expected to grow by 50% over the next five years to 120 million, Jiang Huaiyu, a director of the East China Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), told the Shanghai Daily newspaper that LCCs, cargo carriers, and private jets may soon be required to shift their respective operations to either Nantong in Jiangsu Province, or Ningbo or Jiaxing Air Base, a People's Liberation Army Air Force air base that is being converted to dual civilian/military use, in neighboring Zhejiang Province.

Spring Airlines, China's largest budget carrier, is also the most prominent LCC in Shanghai serving twenty-six local and international destinations out of its Hongqiao hub.

Shanghai's cargo traffic has also rocketed registering 3million tonnes per annum, a growth of 300% on 1985, while business jet-related traffic has grown by 7% in the last year alone.

Though Chinese government research has shown that a reduction in the number of carriers using either airport will be needed to help offset impending saturation, no airline has yet been informed of any immediate plans requiring them to shift operational bases.