Spotlight on Salt Air

Tour operator Salt Air is based near some of the most breathtaking aerial views in the world. Located at the waterfront in Paihia, New Zealand, this thriving family business provides stunning scenic flights, private tours and charters as well as commercial services.

Since acquiring its first aircraft in 1992—a Grumman Super Widgeon seaplane—Salt Air’s fleet has grown to include two Bell LongRangers, a Robinson R44 and a GippsAero GA8 Airvan. Airplane and helicopter tours take sightseers to the top of New Zealand for wine-tasting, island escapes and beach adventures. Salt Air’s commercial helicopter services include lifting water, equipment, water tank and other supplies to remote locations as well as firefighting assistance to the Northern Rural Fire Authority. 

As a testament to the company’s hard work and dedication to its customers, Salt Air has achieved the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence 5 years in a row. Salt Air’s high standard was also acknowledged in August 2018 when it earned the Qualmark Gold tourism operator award. 

Salt Air was one of the first operators to fly VHA’s 206L LongRanger composite main rotor blades, installing the blades in November 2018. Owner Grant Harnish is pleased with the blades’ performance. “The life of the blade is a great advantage, and from a financial point of view it was the deciding factor,” Grant told VHA.  “With the same performance, it holds value better.” He also liked the non-corrosive composite structure given the location of his company.