Air NZ Hints at Auckland, Queenstown Acquisition Proposal

Air NZ Hints at Auckland, Queenstown Acquisition ProposalAir New Zealand Ltd. today triggered concerns that Auckland International Airport Ltd's plan to acquire a stake in Queenstown's airport may serve as a base for rising air fares. Also, it further exacerbated the debate by posting that a group of airlines should invest and other airlines should be permitted to acquire the shareholdings, as well.

The two Companies are reported to have been sharing a difference of opinion over the charges at the nation's busiest airport, in Auckland.

Auckland Airport on July 8 revealed that it has planned to divulge its 24.99% stake in Queenstown Airport by acquiring new shares worth $27.7 million.

However, it can also attempt to boost its holding from presently owned 30% to 35% at any time up to June 30, 2011.

The airline claimed that with the assistance of majority shareholder, the Queenstown Lakes District Council, the funds would be diverted to boost the capacity in a view to fulfill the rising passenger figures.

"We would not seek any dividends and ask that these be reinvested into the airport infrastructure to ensure it remains world class and can cope with increased demand due to all airlines offering attractive domestic and trans-Tasman fares", explained, Air New Zealand Group General Manager Australasia Bruce Parton.

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