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Air New Zealand sells Safe Air engineering

Airbus buys Safe Air

Fiona Rotherham
Mon, 22 Jun 2015

Air New Zealand has confirmed media speculation about the sale of its Safe Air engineering subsidiary to European aerospace giant Airbus Group.

Blenheim-based Safe Air does upgrade and maintenance work for the Royal New Zealand Air Force and other military and commercial aircraft operators around the world.

Air New Zealand says it had signed a conditional agreement to sell the wholly-owned subsidiary to Airbus Group Australia Pacific, which is a major supplier to the Australian defence forces and civil helicopter retailer. The value of the deal, which is expected to be completed next month, is being kept confidential.

The airline has been exploring opportunities for some time to sell the business, which was regarded as non-core.

Air New Zealand's chief operations officer, Bruce Parton, says the company's history with Safe Air spanned more than four decades and it was important that its future success was ensured.

"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," he says.

The airline didn't immediately respond to questions about how many staff are employed at Safe Air and whether the sale would lead to any job losses.

Airbus Group Australia Pacific employs more than 1400 staff at 15 sites across Australia and New Zealand.

"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, " Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Jens Goennemann says.

Safe Air's main facility is in Blenheim and it also has staff based at the Ohakea and Whenuapai airbases and in Melbourne, Australia.


Fiona Rotherham
Mon, 22 Jun 2015
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Air New Zealand sells Safe Air engineering