It’s now been 25 years since Oceania Aviation started out in its "rough-and-ready" way, with founding directors, Josh Camp and Jonathan Bowen, who while earning their keep as commercial helicopter pilots scouting the Pacific Ocean for tuna sold a set of H500C rotor blades. It was then that these compulsive entrepreneurs realised an opportunity and haven’t looked back since.
A lot has changed in the last 25 years, and we will get to that soon, but one thing that has stayed the same, is our directors' continual involvement in the daily concerns of New Zealand’s largest aircraft sales and support company.
With a team of over 160 aviation professionals, one would think that Oceania Aviation’s directors would sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of the company they started all those years ago. And while I’m sure that some days they do exactly that, the majority of the time they very much have their finger on the pulse. Often found working with the sales or parts team on a deal, traveling to trade shows, meeting with managers or simply stopping by for a chat.
Why their continual involvement? It’s what they love, and we all know that to be successful in aviation you have to be passionate about aviation. Add that passion to years of first-hand experience in both owning and operating aircraft, and we have a company run by aviation professionals for aviation professionals.
Now for those changes I mentioned.
Following the sale of a set of 500 blades in 1992, Bowen and Camp registered International Heliparts Limited which was rebranded as Oceania Aviation Limited four years later after the purchase of Marine Helicopters, a move to Ardmore Airport in Auckland and the start of their helicopter operations.
Since then it has been nothing but grow, grow, grow, and it doesn't look to be stopping anytime soon.
2005 marks the year our turbine overhaul facility gained its NZCAA approval, followed by the acquisition of Helifix, now our Helicopter Components division, in 2006. Two years later and the acquisition of Hamilton-based Aeromotive and Engine Components extended our capabilities into the fixed-wing industry and into the Waikato region of New Zealand.
Gordon Luke also joined our duo as the third director, bringing with him the expertise gained from a lifetime working within the New Zealand aviation industry. This was also the year that our board of directors decided to cease operations to focus on the aircraft sales and support services of the company.
In 2012 we opened the doors of "Australasia’s leading" Blade & Composite refurbishment facility as well as our branch in Queenstown. Oceania Aviation’s expansion continued throughout 2013 with the acquisition of Flightline Aviation and Skysales Aviation, adding two additional facilities in Auckland, one in Christchurch and one in Dunedin.
While many might think it stops there, we have only just this year acquired Nelson-based Helicare Maintenance in a mutually-beneficial acquisition that sees their legacy team continue to service their clients with the added support of Oceania Aviation’s wider resources and capabilities.
Accompanying the growth of Oceania Aviation came a number of service centre and dealership agreements to which we are proud to be representing the best global brands in New Zealand.
We have also welcomed many of the industries best and brightest to our team, for whom without our business would not have succeeded has it has.
“Without a dedicated team of committed people, any organisation will struggle in today’s complex aviation business environment. We are very fortunate to have the very best people who focus on the job at hand and deliver the goods as demanded.
One of the most asked questions and the hardest thing for any business to understand in “What exactly do our clients require?”. This is because our clients operate in a dynamic environment that is subject to constant changes. We understand that our clients are as diverse as their projects, and we ensure that our services are tailored to the individual client and their project. With our expert staff, many of whom have first-hand experience operating as our clients do, we believe our services and products meet or exceed industry requirements.”.
Don McCracken, Oceania Aviation CEO
It is through our expert team that Oceania Aviation has grown from a company selling parts to one with 16 specialties with over 160 staff in 10 facilities located in six New Zealand regions, providing local and overseas clients with a full and comprehensive suite of services to meet their aircraft and operational needs.