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Vietnam's Bamboo Airways plans IPO to fuel aggressive growth

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Vietnam's Bamboo Airways expects to raise about US$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.

[HANOI] Vietnam's Bamboo Airways expects to raise about US$100 million from its planned initial public offering (IPO) 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 per cent of the domestic market next year," Trinh Van Quyet, the Hanoi-based chairman of the startup carrier, said in an interview. Bamboo Airways currently has more than 10 per cent of the market, he said.

Vietnam's expanding middle class, underpinned by economic growth of about 7 per cent, is giving the nation's consumers more disposable income to fly. Vietnam's airports handled 106 million passengers in 2018, up about 13 per cent 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, Mr Quyet said.

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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 US, planned for late 2020, Mr Quyet said last month.

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