Vietnam’s Bamboo Airways expects to raise about $100 million from its planned initial public offering next year to fuel its aggressive expansion in one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.
“The fundraising will help us to expand our fleet as we want to take 30% of the domestic market next year,” Trinh Van Quyet, the Hanoi-based chairman of the startup carrier, said in a phone interview. Bamboo Airways currently has more than 10% of the market, he said.
Vietnam’s expanding middle class, underpinned by economic growth of about 7%, is giving the nation’s consumers more disposable income to fly. Vietnam’s airports handled 106 million passengers in 2018, up about 13% from the previous year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
Bamboo will list its shares on a stock exchange next year after the IPO, though hasn’t decided on a bourse yet, Quyet said.
Bamboo Airways now operates 10 aircraft on 25 domestic and international routes. Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung signed a decision in August allowing the carrier to increase its fleet to 30 aircraft by 2023, according to statement on FLC Group’s website. The fleet will include both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.
Bamboo Airways expects to be the first Vietnamese carrier to operate direct flights to the U.S., planned for late 2020, Quyet said last month.