Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi) intends to debut on either the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange or the Hanoi Stock Exchange no later than the third quarter of 2021, chairman Trinh Van Quyet has told Bloomberg News in an interview, anticipating a market capitalisation of about USD2.7 billion.

It plans to list 105 million shares with an initial price set at VND60,000 dong (USD2.60) per share, he added.

Bamboo Airways commenced flight operations in January 2019. The pandemic forced it to postpone its original plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), which was first scheduled for the second quarter of last year. In May 2020, Quyet told Bloomberg that the float would take place in the fourth quarter of that year.

The airline posted a pre-tax profit for 2020 of over VND400 billion (USD17.3 million), up 34% from 2019, carrying over four million passengers during the year, up 40%. So far in 2021, the benchmark VN Index of Vietnamese stocks has risen 8.8%, almost to a three-year high as the virus has mostly been contained and vaccinations begin this month.

“The market condition is very favourable” for the share listing, Quyet said, suggesting that global vaccines will create “a boom” in aviation later this year.

Bamboo Airways now plans to launch flights to the United States in the fourth quarter, the chairman added. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) authorised the carrier in November 2020 to operate 12 charter flights to any point in the US, which would be its first foray into the market.

Quyet repeated plans for the airline to operate 40 aircraft, up from the current 29, a target he said would be achieved this year. Some local reports have put the figure at 50. It aims to push its market share up to 30% in 2021, from about 20% at the moment, the chairman said. However, the company is still appealing to the government to secure long-term soft loans from commercial banks, totalling VND5 trillion (USD216 million).

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Bamboo Airways currently operates an all-leased fleet of 29 aircraft (one A319-100, six A320-200s, five A320-200Ns, three A321-200s, four A321-200Ns, one A321-200NX, three B787-9s, and one ERJ 190-100LR as well as five E195s wet-leased from LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin) and Great Dane Airlines (DW, Aalborg)). It has an additional ten B787-9s on order.