Bangkok Airways first began air transportation services in 1968—established as "Sahakol Air", it became the first private aviation company in Thailand. Initially, the airline provided charter services by means of its first operational aircraft, "Trade Wind", a two-engine 9-seater plane. Regular charter assignments came from the OICC (an American construction company), USOM, and a number of other organizations, which at the time, were engaging in oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Thailand.
Due to the rapid growth of tourism and business investments in Thailand, air transportation has become an increasingly important aspect contributing to both the Kingdom's economic growth and its infrastructure development into becoming a major destination capable of hosting several million overseas visitors per year.
In order to fulfill the increasing demands for air transportation, Bangkok Airways officially began its operations in 1986 as the country's first privately-owned domestic airline; initially offering scheduled flights from Bangkok to Krabi, Korat, and Surin. Presently, Bangkok Airways has obtained permits to operate scheduled flights over 20 different major routes—covering nearly all major resort destinations in Thailand. Additionally, the airline has also obtained permits to fly internationally to Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Japan.
Bangkok Airways has also invested in building and maintaining its own privately-operated airports at Samui, Sukhothai, and Trat. These developments provide Thailand with more air transportation hubs to in order to facilitate increasing air traffic volume.