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Sat 19 Apr 2008 03:03 PM

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Dubai denies bid for Australian airports

State-owned DAE and Emirates rule out plans to aquire airports in push to create second hub to target US.

Dubai denies bid for Australian airports
NO DEAL: Both Emirates and DAE said they had no plans to bid for any Australian airports. (Supplied)

Dubai has denied it is looking to acquire airports in Australia following last year's unsuccessful attempt to buy New Zealand's Auckland International Airport.

Trade magazine Cargo News Asia reported on Wednesday that Dubai was among several suitors interested in bidding for three Australian airports - Cairns, Mackay and Brisbane - with the emirate's most likely target being Cairns, the nation's seventh busiest airport.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), the government's aviation arm, called off a $2 billion takeover bid for New Zealand's largest airport after massive opposition from the public and key government and private sector shareholders.

Analysts speculated that Dubai wanted to turn the Auckland airport into a secondary hub for state-owned airline Emirates, from which it could launch routes to the west coast of the US and to the Americas.

The acquisition any of the three Australian airports, all located in Queensland on the country's east coast, would also give Dubai a second hub from which to better target the Americas.

Both DAE and Emirates on Friday ruled out a bid for a stake in any Australian airports.

"DAE is not bidding for airports in Australia. If we have any news to release then we will do so through an official announcement,” DAE CEO Bob Johnson told UAE daily Emirates Business 24/7.

"Emirates has no plans to bid for a stake in any Australian airport,” a spokesperson for the airline also said, quoted the newspaper.

Other parties interested in one or all of the Australian airports include Canadian-based und management firm Ontario Teachers Credit Union and Australian holding company the Macquarie Group, according to Cargo News Asia.

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Mr G 12 years ago

Hello? Queensland is the largest state on the EAST coast of Australia, not the West - makes somewhat of a difference when you are talking about a land mass the size of the continental United States?!