Bangkok - The low-cost airline operator Bangkok Airways is preparing to announce a tender for 20 single-aisle aircraft. Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier are the named candidates.

The chairman of the Thai private company Puttipong Prasattong-Osoth said during an interview with the Bangkok Post that the specifications for the 20 single-aisle aircraft will be announced by the end of the year and to be sent to Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier.

Bangkok Airways currently operates twelve Airbus A319 and nine A320 alongside six ATR 72-500 and nine 72-600. In February, the carrier announced an order for four additional ATR72-600.

The good thing is, once we have changed our fleet to just use one model, the costs of operation and maintenance will be lower,
said Prasattong-Osoth.

He recalled that Bangkok Airways plans to open a maintenance center in Sukhothai, its historical base north of Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi airport.

The airline wants to maintain its profitability while reducing its costs, in the face of rising fuel prices and low-cost competition that pushes the price of the ticket down.

Bangkok Airways announced last week an increase in its net profit of 27.3% to 22.5 million dollars in the first quarter of the year. The revenues are up 4.3% and a growth in the number of passengers of 8, 4%.

The operator predicts an income increase of 8% for 2018 with a load factor around 70%. But this does not translate into the price of the stock, which has lost more than 40% since the IPO in 2014, despite the explosion of air traffic in the country.

Every year, we manage to post profits, but when it comes to stock prices, it's really a complicated mechanism - a mechanism we can never anticipate,
says Puttipong.