Qantas Airways has begun taking equity in Air New Zealand (ANZ) with the purchase of redeemable convertible notes equivalent to a 4.99% stake in the company. Qantas bought the notes for NZ$98.23 million ($52 million) on 31 December, and plans to buy a further 17.5% if regulators agree. Star Alliance member ANZ and Oneworld alliance member Qantas announced plans in November for an extensive tie-up that will ultimately lead to the Australian airline's purchase of 22.5% of Air New Zealand. The deal still requires the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the New Zealand Commerce Commission and ANZ shareholders. ANZ and Qantas expect regulatory decisions around mid-year. Qantas has ordered three new 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s, to be progressively introduced to the QantasLink regional fleet from May, replacing leased Dash 8-100s in the 32-aircraft fleet.

Source: Flight International