13 January 2010
In a move aimed at expanding and diversifying its assets, as well as providing Auckland Airport with a better connection to growing Asian markets, Auckland International Airport Ltd has purchased a 24.55 per cent state in North Queensland Airports (NQA).
The company operates Cairns and Mackay airports, both of which offer huge potential benefits for Auckland Airport.
Cairns is Australia’s seventh busiest airport and is the closest international airport to Asia on Australia’s eastern seaboard.
Mackay Airport is the main airport servicing the Bowen Basin, an important region for natural resources, with one of the largest deposits of coal in the world. Both airports also serve as gateways to multiple tourism areas within Australia.
Auckland Airport is the only airport operator shareholder in NQA, and will provide operational influence and information sharing to the two airports, while ensuring all three airports benefit from joint air services development.
“This is very much a case of the right deal at the right time,” says Auckland Airport’s chief executive, Simon Moutter. “We’ve been able to take advantage of a rare opportunity to enter the Australian airport market alongside key partners.”
However, Moutter is keen to clarify that Auckland Airport remains the priority for the business. “Our commitment to continuing to be one of the 10 best airports in the world and developing more air services to help grow New Zealand tourism and trade won’t be changing,” he said.
Cairns:© Holger Matte. Dreamstime.com