Bangkok Airways was established by Mr. Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth who set up the airline business in 1968 as a department in a company, own by him, named Krungthep Sahakol Company Limited. In 1984, he founded Sahakol Air to take over airline business which Krungthep Sahakol had been operating from the beginning. The name of the airline was later changed to “Bangkok Airways”.
In 1986, Bangkok Airways commenced operation of scheduled flight services, inaugurated on 20 January 1986 on routes Bangkok – Nakhon Ratchasima, Bangkok – Surin and Bangkok – Krabi, utilizing 18-seat BANDEIRANTE EMB-110 aircraft. In 1989, the Company built its first airport, located at Koh Samui which was being developed into an international tourist destination. Operation at Samui Airport started when Bangkok Airways obtained an International Air Transport Association (IATA) code “PG” and was granted permission to operate flights on route Bangkok – Koh Samui. In 1992, a 107-seat Fokker – 100 jet aircraft was introduced into the fleet. Two years later, on joining IATA Clearing House, the fleet expanded with two additional ATR72 aircraft.
Sukhothai Airport was the second airport project that began in 1998. Many initiatives were added in 2000 from efforts to enhance flight performance by taking delivery of the first Boeing 717-200 aircraft with higher speed and seat capacity; to start aircraft maintenance service on completion of construction of the hanger at Don Muang Airport; to join IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP). Being a member of IATA BSP allowed the company to expand sales base and provided direct access to IATA distribution network. In 2002 the Company upgraded its safety standard, past IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and was certified as IATA full membership. In 2006, Trat Airport, the Company’s third airport project, commenced operation of airport services.