Chinese budget carrier Spring Airlines has resumed a long-delayed plan to sell shares publicly in Shanghai to fund expansion, the China Business News reported on Monday, citing unidentified company sources.

Spring Airlines has hired UBS to help with the planned initial public offering and has sent a notice to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, the stock market regulator, the newspaper said.

If the IPO is successful, Spring Airlines would become China's fifth-listed carrier, after bigger rivals Air China and Hainan Airlines Co.

Chairman Wang Zhenghua said last March that Spring Airlines was committed to an IPO as it aimed to boost the number of its planes to 100 by 2015 from 17, although the share sale plan had been suspended due to adverse market conditions. ($1=6.66 yuan)