The owners of Prestwick Airport are behind a surprise bid team trying to buy London Stansted.
Infratil are among a number of New Zealand-based companies showing an interest in the busy flight hub.
But their move has raised eyebrows at Prestwick, which has been up for sale since March.
Infratil has repeatedly blamed tough times in the aviation industry for its decision to pull out of Ayrshire. Therefore the decision to bid for another UK airport, while Prestwick continues to struggle, has drawn criticism.
Central Ayrshire MP Brian Donohoe said: “I am surprised that Infratil, who have claimed aviation as being a tough market to enter and more or less said the airport business in general is slow, are showing an interest in Stansted.
“I feel that perhaps they should focus on their ongoing concerns rather than looking at new ventures within the same industry which they claim is slow.”
Infratil, which also put Manson Airport in Kent up for sale this year, has spent most of 2012 trying to find a buyer for Prestwick.
But interest has not come flooding their way and that’s left observers fearing for the very future of the airport.
Mr Donohoe hit out: “Infratil announced back in March that it would be selling its 100 per cent stake in Prestwick.
“However, the fact is that since Infratil have taken the airport off its balance sheet as an operation and as a result of the non-investment that goes with that, the situation of drumming up interest to buyers is affected.
“You don’t take an airport into ownership on a short-term basis – you take it on the basis of long term.”
Prestwick has suffered from both a drop in passengers and freight in recent years. Infratil declined to comment on their interest in Stansted.