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Bangkok Airways is confident it can complete an initial public offering (IPO) in 3Q2014 despite the recent political instability in its home market. While market conditions remain challenging in Thailand, Bangkok Airways’ long-term outlook is relatively bright, boosted by its strong and growing ties with foreign full-service carriers, along with a new opportunity to again pursue expansion at its crown jewel Koh Samui.
Proceeds from the IPO will support the full-service carrier’s continued expansion of its fleet and network. Bangkok Airways has added four A320s and five destinations since the beginning of 2013 while adding four new codeshare partners and expanding ties with several of its existing partners.
The airline’s A320 family fleet will expand by another four aircraft over the last seven months of 2014. Capacity at Samui, its second largest base, is expected to grow as Bangkok Airways closes in on approval to add flights at its island airport, which has been capacity constrained due to environmental regulations
Bangkok Airways is the fourth largest carrier in Thailand with about an 8% share of current system-wide seat capacity, including a 16% share of domestic capacity and 4% share of international capacity.
It is Thailand’s largest privately held carrier as Thai AirAsia and Nok Air joined Thai Airways with listings on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Bangkok Airways initially planned to complete an IPO in mid-2013 following a filing that sought to sell 730 million shares, including 520 million new shares and 210 million existing shares. This is equivalent to approximately a 25% stake in the parent company, which also owns three airports in Thailand and stakes in ground handling and catering providers.