Last month the airline got the green light from regulators for its alliance with Virgin Blue on trans-Tasman flights, then followed up this month with the purchase of 15% of Virgin Blue.
Prime Minister John Key then added to the mix by announcing on Wednesday the government was considering selling some of its 75% Air NZ stake, although it would keep a majority holding.
The sell-down scenario is vague so far – we don't know how it might be sold or at what price – but it could weigh on the company's share price until the overhang is dealt with.
In the long run, however, a sell-down may be beneficial as it widens the market for Air NZ shares.
Analyst Geoff Zame of Craigs Investment Partners said Key's announcement was welcome news.
"Liquidity [given the small free float] has always been a major issue in attempting to diversify the register so a partial selldown is likely to be well received," he said.
"Air NZ has also been one of the highest-yielding NZX50 stocks through the global financial crisis – so there is no reason why it may not be attractive to the retail base despite the super-cyclical nature of the sector."
Some of the volatility in the shares can be seen in the change since early last July, when Zame upgraded his rating on Air NZ from "hold" to "buy" at a price of $1.07.
Last week Air NZ was trading around $1.45, having closed as high as $1.53 in mid-January.
Last year Zame noted the company had proven profitable through a "perfect storm" for the aviation sector and continued to pay respectable dividends, which made it a relatively conservative investment play compared to most of its airline peers.
Subsequent developments appear to have reinforced his view.
Commenting on the airline last week, he said: "I think Air NZ has a great story to tell and has a great niche in the fastest-growing aviation region in the world [Asia-Pacific]."
In the interests of disclosure, it should be noted that Craigs is part-owned by Deutsche Bank, whose Australian investment banking arm was involved in advising on and executing the Virgin Blue transaction.
Another analyst with a positive view was Morningstar, which reaffirmed its "buy" rating on Air NZ following the Virgin deal.
"We think this is a good move by Air NZ although sceptics would argue that the firm's previous investment in Ansett proved to be a disaster. We expect earnings to accelerate this year on the back of strong demand and higher yields."
Like Zame, Morningstar commented on the airline's record through the recession.
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