20 Jan 2011

Air NZ takes stake in Virgin Blue

9:40 pm on 20 January 2011

Air New Zealand has taken a stake in the Australian-based carrier, Virgin Blue.

The national carrier has obtained Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approval to purchase up to 14.99% of Virgin Blue.

Under Australia's foreign investment rules, a local airline can have no more than 49% foreign ownership reports the ABC.

Air New Zealand's chief executive, Rob Fyfe, says there is no intention to make a takeover bid for Virgin Blue.

Mr Fyfe says the investment is part of a strategy to develop the airline's scale and reach in the region.

Air New Zealand says it will make further announcements to the stock markets, both here and in Australia, before trading starts on Friday.