Bangkok Airways targets B10bn revenue
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Bangkok Airways targets B10bn revenue

An Airbus A319 Bangkok Airways jet taking off from Samui airport.
An Airbus A319 Bangkok Airways jet taking off from Samui airport.

Bangkok Airways Plc is expecting revenue this year to reach 10 billion baht, exceeding its target, with more than 2.6 million passengers thanks to a surge in the domestic market.

Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, president of Bangkok Airways, said the airline will aim for more foreign passengers, trying to return to the proportion of foreign comprising more than 75% of total passengers posted in 2019.

From January to September, it had roughly 1.7 million passengers or 40% of the same period before the pandemic.

Local passengers accounted for 40% of the total, higher than the 20% registered in 2019.

Passengers have significantly increased since July, when border controls were lifted, said Mr Puttipong.

The most popular destination for Bangkok Airways is Koh Samui, accounting for 50% of its services.

The company reported nine-month revenue of 8.12 billion baht, which is close to its year-end target of 8.17 billion, mainly attributed to ticket sales.

He said revenue could reach 10 billion baht as the number of foreign tourists and flights keep increasing.

The carrier posted an operating loss of 1.19 billion baht for the first nine months, an improvement from a 2.5-billion loss in the same period last year. Mr Puttipong said the airline should break even next year.

As of September, Bangkok Airways operated 19,648 flights this year, up 302% year-on-year, while the average load factor was 74%, edging the year-end target of 73%.

Average airfare across domestic and international routes stood at 2,900 baht. This rate is 80% of the pre-pandemic average, as the price for domestic routes did not surge to the same degree as international flights.

The airline operates 24 routes, comprising 17 domestic routes and seven international ones, lagging behind the 17 international routes it offered in 2019. Next year, he said Bangkok Airways plans to resume six more international flights: Samui-Hong Kong, Samui-Kuala Lumpur, Samui-Chengdu, Samui-Chongqing, Bangkok-Mandalay and Bangkok-Phu Quoc.

Mr Puttipong said uncertainties remain for the aviation business, such as political unrest in Myanmar and travel restrictions remaining in a few countries.

Bangkok Airways plans to reduce its fleet from 35 to 28-31 aircraft this year, he said. Models getting the axe include the Airbus A320 and ATR 72-600, as well as the only ATR 72-500 left in the fleet, said Mr Puttipong.

In 2023, Bangkok Airways targets 4.5 million passengers, which is 75-80% of the 2019 level.

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