The FINANCIAL — Air New Zealand has signed a conditional agreement for the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary Safe Air to Airbus Group Australia Pacific Pty Limited, a major supplier to the Australian Defence Forces and leading civil helicopter retailer.
Safe Air is a Blenheim-based aviation maintenance, design and manufacturing business focused on providing high quality engineering support for military and commercial customers, including the Royal New Zealand Air Force, according to Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton says the airline has been exploring opportunities for some time to secure a solid future for Safe Air which best positions it for growth.
“Our history with Safe Air spans more than four decades and it’s important to us that we ensure its success in the future. Airbus Group is highly regarded in the aviation industry and, as a world-class military service provider, is closely aligned with the services Safe Air undertakes,” says Mr Parton.
“This is a fantastic outcome for Safe Air and its employees, with Airbus able to provide guidance, direction and the resources that will increase its capabilities and contribute to its growth. This in turn will have a positive impact on the local economy.”
Airbus Group Australia Pacific employs more than 1,400 staff at 15 sites across Australia and New Zealand. It has three operating divisions – Civil Helicopters, Government Helicopters and Fixed Wing – and maintains Orion and Hercules aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force.
“Safe Air’s reputation, skill set and outlook are all strong and closely align with Airbus Group. We’ve worked with Safe Air in the past and for us, bringing the company into Airbus strengthens our position and potential in New Zealand. We look forward to working with our new colleagues on a daily basis,” says Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director Airbus Group Australia Pacific.
Safe Air’s main facility is in Blenheim and it also has staff based at the Ohakea and Whenuapai airbases and in Melbourne, Australia.
The transaction is expected to complete next month and details of this are confidential.