Bangkok Airways Co., Ltd., is a regional airline based in Bangkok, Thailand. It Carries out regular flights to 20 destinations in Burma, Cambodia, China, Japan, Laos, Maldives, Singapore Thailand and Vietnam. Its main base of operations is the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
The airline was founded in 1968 as Sahakol Air performing air taxi flights under contract of OICC, an american construction company and other organizations related to oil and natural gas extraction in the Gulf of Thailand. The airline started to make regular flights in 1986, becoming the first private domestic airline in Thailand. The airline then went on to change its name to become Bangkok Airways in 1989. This Thai airline is owned by Dr. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth, who owns (92.31 %) of the shares, the State of Sahakol owns (4.3 %), Bangkok Dusit Medical Services owns (1.2 %) and other shareholders own (2.19 %). It has 1,903 employees and also owns the smaller airline Siem Reap Airways.
It has built its own airport in Ko Samui, which was inaugurated in April 1989 and offers domestic flights between the island and Chiang Mai, Hong Kong, Krabi, Pattaya, Phuket and Singapur. The airline opened its second airport in the Sukhothai province in 1996. A third airport was built in the Province of Trat, which was inaugurated in March 2003 to cover the growing tourism demand to the destination of Ko Chang.
The airline made its first foray into reaction flight in 2000, when it began to introduce the Boeing 717 aircraft into its fleet. Until that time, the airline had operated prop aircraft, mainly the ATR-72. It has also operated the De Havilland Canada Dash 8, the Shorts 330 and for a short space of time, a Fokker F100. The company introduced another jet airliner, the Airbus A320, to its fleet in 2004.
The airline plans to order widebody aircraft as part of an ambitious expansion plan of their fleet. It wants to add its first widebody aircraft in 2006 to operate routes to long range destinations such as London, India and Japan and were looking at the Airbus A330, Airbus A340 and Boeing 787 to cover those long range routes. In December 2005, the airline announced that it had decided to negotiate to buy an order of six Airbus A350-800 in a configuration of 258 seats, which would be handed over to the airline at the beginning of 2013.