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Safe Air to be known as Airbus New Zealand

written by | May 29, 2017
A file image of RNZAF C-130Hs. (RNZAF)
A file image of RNZAF C-130Hs. (RNZAF)

From July, aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), design and manufacturing company Safe Air will be renamed Airbus New Zealand Limited.

The change comes after the company, which has operations in Blenheim, Ohakea, Auckland and Melbourne, was purchased by Airbus Group Australia Pacific from Air New Zealand in June 2015.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific acting vice president for fixed wing Martin Ball confirmed the rebranding of Safe Air on Monday.


Ball said existing contracts, purchase orders and other agreements were unaffected by the name change, with Airbus New Zealand to remain a separate legal entity registered in New Zealand and keep the same company registration number.

“Both Airbus in Europe and our team in the Australia Pacific region have been impressed by the strength of the relationship that Safe Air has with its suppliers, and the breadth of services the company offers,” Ball said.

“This has been and will continue to be enhanced under Airbus ownership as the benefits of being a part of a leading global aerospace company are realised.”

“We remain committed to retaining a long term footprint in New Zealand and maintaining our relationships with our suppliers.”


Safe Air’s main facility is in Blenheim and is responsible for Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion and C-130H Hercules airframe, engine and propeller maintenance. Its significant propeller overhaul business also has New Zealand and Australian regional airlines as clients, as well as the Royal Australian Air Force.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific’s activities include sales and support of Airbus Helicopters, the final assembly of 42 of the 46 MRH 90 Taipan helicopters currently being delivered to the Australian Army and Navy, and maintenance and support of a number of ADF platforms including the Tiger ARH, C-130J Hercules and AP-3C Orion.

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  • Geoff


    Excellent move by Airbus. Strategic sureity.

  • Don MacKenzie


    I remember their founder Straights Air Freight Express from my schooldays at Marlborough College in the 1950’s. Their Bristol Freighters frequently drowned out assemblies or classes as they made their long slow climb out of Woodbourne.
    It’s great to know the successor continues to contribute to New Zealand’s technological and economic progress.

  • PAUL


    Great News for Safe Air staff & NZ! Work like this needs to be kept in NZ & Australia & not outsourced overseas…. Also good to have local maintenance hubs like Australia will be for the F35. The RNZAF Hercs had cracks develop round the cockpit window framework, which was a common problem for many operators, thus a huge back log for new frames. Rather than wait new ones were fabricated in NZ….

  • Tom Easterbrook


    Great news for StraitsAFE and NZ industry. In addition to continuing aircraft maintenance there is now a better prospect of getting involved in Airbus Supply Chain beyond producing aluminium billets. Why could not NZ industry increase its involvement? Currently India manufactures doors for every Airbus models, (that is 2 ship sets per day). 7/365. NZ produces great composites for racing yacht… next step aircraft panels.
    Up until a few years back when Boeing bought out DHav in Sydney they where milling outer wing ribs for Airbus. There must be a few milling machines running ideal in NZ that could capture similar size structural components.
    I shall be watching with interest.

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