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Auckland Airport should be on a winner buying into Cairns and Mackay Airports. Who's next?

New Zealand's Auckland International Airport (AIAL) has agreed to purchase a 24.55% stake from Westpac Bank in North Queensland Airports (NQA), the operator of Cairns Airport and Mackay Airport, for NZD166.5 million (AUD133.5 million, USD123.4 million). AIAL’s CEO, Simon Moutter stated he is bullish about the future performance of Cairns and Mackay airports, due to the growing number of LCCs operating from those airports. He added the primary motive for the purchase was to increase passenger traffic to Auckland, particularly through Asia, as the Queensland airports continue to push for traffic from Asia. He is hopeful the stake will boost passenger numbers through Auckland Airport by 100,000 a year within the next five years. Was it a high price to pay for additional feed at Auckland? Industry change and tourism authority cooperation could make this model work.

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