Air New Zealand announced (04-Oct-2013) it has received approval from the Australian Treasurer to increase its shareholding in Virgin Australia Holdings to 25.9%. The Treasurer’s approval follows consideration by the Foreign Investment Review Board and a public inquiry by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Air New Zealand will acquire an additional 3% of shares in Virgin Australia under an existing forward contract, taking Air New Zealand’s holding to a total of 22.9%. The approval allows the acquisition of up to a further 3%, subject to Air New Zealand complying with the ‘creep’ provisions under the Australian Corporations Act. Air New Zealand’s CEO Christopher Luxon said: “The opportunity to take our shareholding in Virgin to 25.9% and the recently extended Tasman Alliance with Virgin mean we can confidently work with Virgin to provide a strongly competitive, Australasian and international airline network. We are fully supportive of the Virgin management team and strategy which provide an ideal complement to our own network and importantly, an opportunity to participate in the Australian market with a respected partner.” [more - original PR]
Air New Zealand approved to increase shareholding in Virgin Australia Holdings to 25.9%
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Hong Kong Airlines to grow in Australia via Virgin Australia partnership. Auckland launches Nov-2016
Having built a regional Asian network anchored around mainland China as a source market, HNA Group's Hong Kong Airlines is leveraging its hub capability from short/medium haul connections to long haul transfers, which also reduce CASK. Hong Kong Airlines resumed long haul flying in early 2016 with a service to Cairns and the Gold Coast. Auckland will be added from Nov-2016 and Hong Kong Airlines should be able to break up the Air New Zealand-Cathay Pacific joint venture on the route.
Hong Kong Airlines is restricted from serving major Australian cities due to bilateral limits (Australia and Hong Kong have not been able to agree on increased capacity levels). Hong Kong Airlines' owner HNA has bought into Virgin Australia, which plans to serve the key HNA hubs of Beijing and Hong Kong in 2017, providing access from major Australian cities. Virgin could also help Hong Kong Airlines make viable service to smaller Australian cities.
Hong Kong Airlines is receiving a lift in Australia and New Zealand bookings, attributed to Asian consumers shifting away from travel in Europe, which has repeatedly been impacted by terrorist acts. Hong Kong Airlines believes that passengers are "viewing Australia and New Zealand together as more of a safe-haven status destination".
South Pacific aviation markets will be defined by China’s expansion
The nature of the South Pacific's geography makes finding the right partners for its airlines essential for their survival in international long haul markets – as most are.
The region is characterised by relatively liberal access regimes and by partnerships of varying levels – in New Zealand especially, where Air New Zealand’s international network is dominated by JVs. Virgin Australia has built a ‘virtual alliance’ alongside HNA, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Delta, with very little of its own metal flying outside Australia. At Qantas Group, international performance has improved markedly following its Emirates partnership, as its operating focus has shifted from Europe toward Asia and North America, with local JVs, and close partnerships with American Airlines and China Eastern continuing to grow and mature.
For all airlines in the region, the China market will define much of the growth over the coming decade. (This report is taken from the Jul/Aug-2016 issue of CAPA's Airline Leader)