Air New Zealand Link was formed as the brand name for regional services in 1991, covering the three airlines Air New Zealand had purchased interests in: Eagle Airways, Mount Cook Airline and Air Nelson. The three airlines were purchased as Air New Zealand found it not viable to operate its own regional services due to the introduction of new competition, Ansett New Zealand.
The airlines were purchased as below:
Mount Cook Airline: Initial stake purchased by NAC in 1973, increased to 30% on 5 December 1983, 77% in October 1985, and 100% on 18 April 1991.
Air Nelson: 50% stake purchased by Air New Zealand in October 1988, increased to 100% in 1995.
Eagle Airways: 50% stake purchased by Air New Zealand in October 1988, which increased to 100% in 1995. Its operations ended in 2016.