Bamboo Airways (QH, Hanoi) plans to raise around USD100 million in an initial public offering (IPO) in 2020 to fuel aggressive expansion in Vietnam's fast-growing aviation market, Trinh Van Quyet, the start-up carrier's chairman, has told Bloomberg.

Quyet, a property tycoon and dollar billionaire, said that the fundraising “will help us to expand our fleet as we want to take 30% of the domestic market next year”. Bamboo has not yet decided which stock exchange to list its shares on after the IPO, he added.

The hybrid carrier was founded by Quyet's FLC Group in mid-2017 and commenced operations in January 2019. It already has a fleet of 16 aircraft, operating one A319-100, five A320-200s (three of which are wet-leased in), and four A321-200neo with an additional four A320-200s and two A330-200s awaiting entry into service.

As previously reported, it plans to expand to 30 aircraft by the first quarter of 2020 and to 100 aircraft by 2024, having officially received permission from Vietnam's Ministry of Transport in August for its adjusted operations.

Quyet has said that Bamboo Airways expects to be the first Vietnamese carrier to fly direct to the United States, a launch that is planned for late 2020.

Economic growth of 7.1% in 2018 and an expanding middle class are propelling the hunger to travel in Vietnam. The country’s airports saw 106 million passengers last year, up 13%, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam. International arrivals during 2018 reached 15.5 million, a 20% increase, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in January, while the number of domestic tourists grew to 80 million.