22 Jun 2015

Air NZ to sell Safe Air to Airbus

3:39 pm on 22 June 2015

Air New Zealand says it has found a buyer for wholly-owned subsidiary Safe Air.

NZ Airforce Orion arrives back in Whenuapai after weeks spent searching for the missing Malaysian airliner

Safe Air is able to carry out maintenance and repair for plane models including the P-3 Orion (pictured), as well as helicopters Photo: RNZ / Kate Newton

It has signed a conditional agreement for the sale of Safe Air to Airbus Group Australia Pacific, a major supplier to the Australian defence forces and a leading civil helicopter retailer.

Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton said the airline had been exploring opportunities to secure a solid future for Safe Air for some time.

Mr Parton said the subsidiary's new owner intended to grow the business and it would not result in any job losses.

"All the people go across with the business. It's sold as a going concern. Quite the opposite - Airbus is looking at the next steps for their business [and] they've bought it to grow it."

He said it was a fantastic outcome for Safe Air's employees and would have a positive impact on the local economy.

Safe Air's main facility is in Blenheim, with additional staff based at the Ohakea and Whenuapai Airbases and in Melbourne.

Details of the transaction, which is expected to be completed next month, are confidential.