Air New Zealand has been named as a plaintiff in a court case which aims to block Auckland International Airport Limited’s (AIAL) plan to buy a key shareholding in Queenstown Airport and form an alliance between the two airports.
In separate court cases, Air New Zealand and the Queenstown Community Strategic Assets Group (SAG) Trustee Ltd are opposing the acquisition of a 24.99 per cent stake by AIAL into Queenstown. The two plaintiffs are pushing for a judicial review of the share issue, claiming that it has breached laws on local government.
AIAL said in a statement that it was disappointed by the action. “It is unfortunate that these legal proceedings have been brought by parties who wish to attempt to frustrate an alliance intended to deliver great benefit to the development of the tourism industry in the Queenstown Lakes District. We believe these parties have vested interests and do not necessarily have the well-being of the wider Queenstown community at heart.”
The lawsuit comes as the New Zealand Commerce Commission announced that it is not going to investigate the acquisition following a complaint from Air New Zealand, noting that it would not be likely to lessen competition in the market. Air New Zealand has stated that it would prefer to form a consortium with other airlines to buy into Queenstown Airport, while the airline has also had a number of disputes with AIAL about pricing at Auckland Airport.