On 20 January 2011 Air New Zealand announced that it had acquired a substantial shareholding in Australian airline, Virgin Blue. The following day it announced that it had taken a 14.9% stake.
Air New Zealand was subsequently required to sell down a small proportion of its new shareholding in Virgin Blue to ensure that the 49% cap on foreign owneership was not exceeded.
It is notable that Air New Zealand says that it is not seeking a seat on the Virgin Blue board. Although the two airlines are entering into a trans-Tasman alliance (see previous post) they will still be competing on services to some South Pacific islands.