The budget carrier Nok Air has decided to lease an initial four jetliners early next year ahead of a comprehensive aircraft purchase plan.
The airline listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in June, mobilising 3.1 billion baht it plans to use in nearly doubling its fleet to 30 by 2015 from 16 now.
Passengers numbers are expected to reach 14 million annually in 2017.
Panya Chutisiriwong, Nok Air's investor relations manager, said the airline is conducting a feasibility study into buying three propeller aircraft worth a combined 2.3 billion baht.
But it has decided to lease four jets first in order to increase its capacity by 25% to 3,185 seats and give an immediate boost to sales revenue.
The budget airline said its third-quarter results will fall short of the second quarter, when it achieved revenue of 2.6 billion baht for a net profit of 260 million.
The lower expected lower performance is due to the period being the low travel season, said Mr Panya.
However, Nok Air remains optimistic an improved fourth quarter will allow it to reach its full-year net profit target of 1.2 billion baht.
Mr Panya said the fourth quarter is the high season for tourism, and the airline will take delivery of two new aircraft next month.
Nok Air expects an average cabin factor of 83-85% for the full year, with 5.6 million passengers.
In the first half, the airline carried half that many passengers, in line with its full-year target of 40% growth in passenger numbers, revenue and net profit.
Tensions over Syria have eased recently, resulting in both the price of crude aircraft fuel falling.
However, the airline is not very concerned about fuel costs, as it has hedged oil price risk at about 30%, said Mr Panya.
Nok Air's passenger numbers are expected to grow by 25%, lower than the 40% target in each of the past four years.
This is due to a higher passenger base and not slower economic growth.
Shares of NOK closed Wedensday on the SET at 21.60 baht, up 10 satang, in trade worth 50.6 million baht.