Airbus strengthens its position in the Pacific region

Airbus is strengthening its presence in New Zealand with the completion of the integration of Blenheim-based SAFE Air into its industrial organisation in the Pacific. The name “New Zealand operations of SAFE Air” has been renamed as Airbus since July 3.

SAFE Air was purchased by Airbus from Air New Zealand in 2015 and offers maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capability for military and civil airframes and engines. These include types operated by the New Zealand Defence Force, such as the C-130H and P-3K Orion. SAFE Air employs 250 people, including skilled technicians and engineers, at sites in Blenheim, Ohakea, Whenuapai and a propeller overhaul capability in Melbourne, Australia.

Tony Fraser, Managing Director, Airbus Australia Pacific, spoke of the streamlined evolution of the company.

“Backed by the strength of the global Airbus organisation, our rebranded operation in New Zealand reflects our commitment to the country and in particular to support the Defence Force,” he said. “This is another milestone for our integrated services in the Pacific region supporting fixed and rotary wing aircraft in the defence and civil sectors. From today our colleagues in New Zealand will be proudly wearing the Airbus brand as we undertake this critical work.”

New Zealand is a vibrant aviation country for Airbus, with commercial aircraft flying with Air New Zealand, the NH90 multi-role utility helicopter in service with the country’s Defence Force and some 200 civil helicopters flying in the para-public, air ambulance, tourism and VIP segments.

The company’s MRO operations in the country are part of a regional services business in the Pacific that also includes facilities in Australia providing support for a wide range of helicopters and military fixed wing aircraft.