Bangkok Airways plans to add two more single-aisle jetliners to its fleet to arrest an expected capacity shortfall this year.
Another A319 may be added into the fleet of Bangkok Airways.
The privately owned carrier is likely to decide over the next two weeks on ideal options for leasing two Airbus aircraft types, the A319 and the A320, to support expanded flight operations, industry sources said yesterday.
It will be the second fleet upgrade this year, as Bangkok Airways in May added two A319s to respond to increased frequencies on domestic routes and expanded service to Myanmar.
The two planned jets, either brand-new or used ones, are to enter service in November or December as more flights on at least four routes are launched.
Routes envisaged for a ramp-up are Bangkok-Phuket, from seven daily flights to eight; Chiang Mai-Bangkok, from five daily flights to six; Bangkok-Krabi, from two daily flights to three; Bangkok-Yangon, from three daily flights to four; and Bangkok-Lampang, from two daily flights to three.
Bangkok Airways is due to inaugurate its second route to Myanmar, Bangkok-Mandalay, on Sept 15 with four flights a week and a possible increase to daily service in December, when additional aircraft capacity becomes available.
The carrier's traditional practice of putting all services from Bangkok to Siem Reap in the winter season, starting at the end of October, on jet aircraft also strains the airline's capacity.
There are 22 planes in the Bangkok Airways fleet, consisting of nine A319s, five A320s and eight ATR-72 turboprops.
The airline is also looking at adding a few more A319-A320 aircraft next year to meet growing traffic demand.
Sources described the planned leasing of two more jetliners later this year as purely operational and not linked to an initial public offering (IPO) and listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
Bangkok Airways executives have kept mum on the progress of the IPO, whose launch has been delayed several times.
The sluggish capital market has fuelled speculation that Bangkok Airways is putting off the IPO, which would raise an estimated 10 billion baht.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business