Salus Aviation merges with Oceania Aviation

New Zealand-based Salus Aviation Group has merged with Oceania Aviation, an aviation engineering business with operations at nine locations in New Zealand, to become one of the largest general aviation operators and engineering businesses in Australasia. Oceania will further strengthen Salus Aviation’s portfolio of aviation-related businesses. The Salus Group maintains, repairs, overhauls, operates and leases helicopters and small aircraft throughout the Asia Pacific region.

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Salus Aviation directors are considering options for raising capital to further grow the business by acquiring existing, well-managed operations and through a continuing growth path for the existing operations.

The integration of Oceania will see Salus Aviation operating as two divisions.

The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) will specialize in engineering and parts sales for general aviation aircraft, both fixed-wing and rotor. All helicopter and fixed-wing operators are required to undertake MRO under civil aviation regulations. This division employs some 160 staff at the nine New Zealand facilities, and it plans to increase its presence in Australasia. Salus holds CAA certifications to maintain, supply and manufacture parts for clients in New Zealand and globally.

The fleet operations business leases and sells aircraft and has a fleet of around 25 aircraft throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Salus has a rapidly increasing lease fleet of over 13 Cessna aircraft powered by Continental Diesel’s CD-155 turbo engines. These engines are around 30 percent more efficient than AVGAS engines. The engines are perfect for its existing and increasing flight school customer base and the existing base of over 300 clients operating in the agriculture, horticulture, government/council and utilities industries.

Oceania directors, Gordon Luke and Josh Camp, will join the Board of Salus, and Don McCracken will remain chief executive officer of Oceania.

“We have a great opportunity to access capital to grow our business by joining with Salus. The two companies have worked together for some time, and, in formalizing our arrangements, we can move to another level of performance and services [that] we can offer the market. There will be no staff changes, and this will give us the ability to employ even more skilled people,” Luke said.

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Craig Brownie, a director of Salus and Bancorp New Zealand, said, “We see an exceptional opportunity to continue to grow Salus Aviation in Australasia and beyond. Australia and New Zealand combined have around 20,000 registered aircraft and are the third largest helicopter market in the world. New Zealand is the second largest helicopter market in the Asia-Pacific with around 840 units. It’s a highly regulated industry that provides Oceania with a growing level of engineering work.”

“Our fleet operations business is as busy as it’s ever been, and Salus is well-placed to benefit from the consolidation in the industry, as well as the high levels of growth we’re seeing across aircraft leasing and sales,” added Brownie.

“We’re thinking about a range of options to raise capital to continue to grow the Group. With Oceania on board, Salus Aviation’s revenue is likely to be around $70 million this year,” he commented.

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