Auckland International Airport Ltd (AIAL) has acquired an initial minority 24.99% shareholding of the increased capital in New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport Corporation by subscribing for approximately four million new shares. It was only six months ago that AIAL took a stake in the Cairns and Mackay airports in Australia (North Queensland Airports Group) and this transaction enhances AIAL’s new strategy of investing outside of its core operation. The main questions raised are whether AIAL’s concept of multi-destination (Auckland/Queenstown) tourism marketing can succeed, and in what markets; what type of carrier Queenstown will now seek to attract; and whether Christchurch Airport, which calls itself ‘New Zealand’s Tourism Gateway’ will just roll over and die, or fight back?
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