2 Cheap Cars to sell Kiwi Airlines stake
By Sophie Boot
2 Cheap Cars is looking to sell its stake in Kiwi Regional Airlines.
The car reseller said today it wants to sell its 10.4 percent holding in the airline, and that it "never intended to be a long-term investor."
When it first invested last December, the company said it was "joining a consortium", with chief executive Eugene Williams appointed to the airline's board.
Companies Office documents show the company initially owned 23 percent of the airline, but its shareholding was diluted in July, August and again earlier this month when Kiwi Regional Airlines issued more shares.
"When we first got involved the airline didn't have any other investors," Williams said.
"Now with CAA certification, an aircraft and a growing passenger list it is a great time for others to come on board."
Kiwi Regional Airlines was set up by Ewan Wilson in December 2014, after Air New Zealand announced it was abandoning services from Auckland to Kaitaia and Whakatane, Wellington to Whangarei, Taupo and Westport, and the Palmerston North to Nelson service in April 2015.
In July this year, 2 Cheap Cars sent out a press release stating it had purchased a Saab 340A aircraft "through its subsidiary, Kiwi Regional Airlines."
At the time, Wilson said Kiwi Regional Airlines "categorically" owned the aircraft, and at the next shareholder meeting, there would be a "clarification of who speaks for the company."
The airline said it received its air operator certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority on October 23 and began flying four days later, with direct flights between Dunedin and Queenstown, Dunedin and Nelson, and Nelson and Hamilton.
This month it said it would start flying directly from Nelson to Tauranga twice a week.
At the end of November, one month after flights began, the company cancelled its Dunedin-Queenstown route due to "a combination of several weather-related cancellations and low passenger bookings making it unsustainable for this service to continue."