Bangkok Airways to use IPO funds for hangar, aircraft purchases

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Regional carrier Bangkok Airways intends to use a part of the proceeds from its upcoming initial public offering to build a new maintenance hangar at Suvarnabhumi airport.

The privately-owned carrier, which leases all its aircraft, will also consider using some of the funds for aircraft purchases.

Although details for the new hangar are scant, its senior vice-president of network management Peter Wiesner says it will be able to accommodate "larger aircraft", pointing to the possibility of the carrier adding widebodies to its fleet.

"The new hangar will certainly have covered space for the existing fleet and have provisions for bigger aircraft, which might join the fleet in the future," he says.

Bangkok Airways operates a fleet of 19 aircraft - eight ATR 72s, eight Airbus A319s and three A320s.

Media reports in Thailand recently quoted the carrier's president Puttipong Prasarttong Osoth on plans to raise baht (Bt) 10 billion ($326 million) from the IPO and to expand its fleet to 35 aircraft. He adds that the carrier is also likely to add either the A320neo or the Boeing 737 Max to its fleet.

Bangkok Airways expects to be listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand next year. It is also aiming to carry 3.6 million passengers and hit a revenue of Bt13 billion this year. Its profit rose by 57% to Bt1.22 billion in 2011.