Close sidebar

Airbus Australia Pacific acquires Safe Air

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 22, 2015
ak07001316
File image of RNZAF C-130Hs. (RNZAF)

Air New Zealand has announced that it has signed a conditional agreement for the sale of its aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), design and manufacturing subsidiary Safe Air to Airbus Group Australia Pacific.

Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton stated that the airline had been exploring opportunities to secure a solid future for Safe Air for some time. “Our history with Safe Air spans more than four decades, and it is important to us that we ensure its success in the future,” said Parton. “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.”

Safe Air’s main facility is in Blenheim, but the business also has staff based at RNZAF bases Ohakea and Whenuapai, Auckland and Melbourne. The company has around 200 employees, and is responsible for RNZAF P-3K2 Orion and C-130H Hercules airframe, engine and propeller maintenance. Its significant propeller overhaul business also has as clients New Zealand and Australian regional airlines and the RAAF.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“Safe Air’s reputation, skill set and outlook are all strong and closely align with Airbus Group,” stated Airbus Group Australia Pacific managing director Dr Jens Goennemann. “We have worked with Safe Air in the past, and for us, bringing the company into Airbus strengthens our position and potential in New Zealand.”

It is not clear if the acquisition is aimed at supporting Airbus’s current bid to market the A400M airlifter as a replacement for the the RNZAF’s ageing C-130Hs. The prospects of that occuring may have firmed after Boeing announced last week the sale of four C-17s to Qatar, leaving just one unaccounted for “white tail” C-17 yet to find a customer. New Zealand had been considering acquiring two C-17s.

The Safe Air transaction is expected to be completed next month, and from July 1 Safe Air will become a “fully integrated” part of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, retaining its name, staff and operations in Blenheim, Ohakea, Auckland and Melbourne, Airbus said.

“As the outgoing managing director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific, this is the last item to cross off my list; to strengthen the base in New Zealand upon which our business can grow,” Goennemann said. “And as a relatively newly-confirmed Australian citizen I am delighted to have been able to play a part in the formation of this new trans-Tasman partnership.”

PROMOTED CONTENT

 

For just $59.95 a year, you can keep up to date with the very best of Australian Aviation each month, directly via our app! Our app is available on mobile, tablet and PC devices. So what are you waiting for? Go digital with Australian Aviation and read up on all missed special coverage, exclusive photos and editions. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

3 Comments

  • Chris G

    says:

    This move would have to reduce the odds on the A400M replacing the worlds oldest C130Hs; P3Ks, Andovers and possibly B757-2Cs in RNZAF service. Their A400Ms would be a nice fit with RAAF KC30As, C17A ERs, C130J30 and C27J whatever the regional transport task. The A400M cruises 150 to 200kmhr faster than the last two RAAF turboprops but only 100 to 50kmhr slower than the first two turbofans. The number of runways they can access will restrict them to where fuel and facilities are available.

  • David

    says:

    The RNZAF withdrew the Andovers from service in 1998.

  • Raymond

    says:

    The Andovers were retired without replacement, were they not?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year