Business Aircraft Operations in Greece: Fuel, Additional Services, and Security
This is a post by author Dimitra Kiriakopoulou. Dimitra is the operations and customer care director for Universal Aviation Greece – Athens, which has an aircraft ground-handling facility in Athens. Dimitra is an expert on business aircraft operations in Greece and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Greece and continues from our last article: "Business Aircraft Operations to Greece: Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine."
For business aircraft operators traveling to Greece, always confirm fuel uplift and credit requirements with your ground handler prior to arrival. It’s important to have correct documentation on hand to confirm fuel uplifts and to exempt Value-Added Tax (VAT) when applicable.
The following is an overview of what you need to know about aviation fuel, additional services, and security when operating to Greece:
1. Know the process for obtaining aviation fuel
It’s recommended that fuel uplift arrangements be requested as soon as the schedule is known. Be aware that some aviation fuel cards will not be accepted at certain airports – such as Thessaloniki (LGTS) – unless a fuel release has been sent in advance. Large airports in Greece usually have two to three fuel aviation companies available, while smaller airfields may have only a single fueler. Some airports may not have fuel or have no fuel supply during winter months. Athens (LGAV) has hydrant fueling, and this is available for General Aviation (GA) with prior arrangement.
2. There are additional charges associated with fuel uplifts
Posted fuel price may change every month or, in some cases, every time the fueler receives a new shipment. Mineral Oil Tax (MOT) is included in the fuel price, and LGAV applies a "supplier charge" to all fuel uplifts. VAT will be applied unless you’re operating as a charter (non-scheduled commercial), and the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) is shown prior to fuel uplift. If you are a member of a contract fuel program, such as the UVair Fuel Program, the program managers should have the international tax expertise to assist you with this.
Credit cards are accepted for fuel payment in Greece, but cash payments for fuel uplift are strictly limited to 1,500 Euros. It’s illegal in Greece to make cash payments above this amount for any aircraft services, including fuel services.
For more on VAT and MOT, see:
- Minimizing Jet Fuel Costs: 5 Tips for EU VAT and MOT
- VAT Exemption Programs for Aviation Fuel Purchases
3. Documentation may have to be presented
In addition to showing your aviation fuel card, charter operators should present their AOC in order to exempt VAT. Fuel tickets must be signed by the captain, and there’s an additional form – stating that AOC has been shown, and no VAT has been applied – that should be signed when the operation is a charter.
4. Know tech stop considerations
Tech stops in Greece are normally quick experiences – usually around 30 minutes. If the tech stop is your first entry to the European Union (EU), you’ll need to clear CIQ – about a three-minute process per passenger. Onboard CIQ clearance may be requested, but will be at the discretion of the customs officer on duty.
5. Rental cars are available at airports in Greece
Your ground handler will be able to make arrangements for rental vehicles, but selection of vehicles may be limited at smaller destinations. Pre-paid transportation (car and driver) is the preferred option in Greece. Rental vehicles should be avoided if you’re not familiar with the local area. Note that traffic in major cities like Athens can be highly congested.
6. Caterers may not be located on the airport
Only large international airports in Greece have on-airport in-flight caterers. At many locations in Greece your best option will be to obtain catering from local hotel restaurants. Be sure to work with your ground handler to confirm best procedure for delivery of catering airside.
7. Airport security is good in Greece
AT LGAV and other large international airports, security is provided by both private security services and police. At outlying airports only police provide airport security. There are security fences, cameras, and patrols in place at Greek airports as per EU regulations. All arriving crew members/passengers will be security-screened prior to passport control. There are security companies able to provide unarmed security for your aircraft. If you’d like to use a security provider, it’s possible to obtain an airport ID and have the security personnel escorted by the ground handler. In Greece only police are allowed to carry weapons airside.
8. Ramp access is controlled
If someone – such as an aviation maintenance technician – needs to obtain access to the ramp, airport authorities will issue a temporary airport ID, and a fee is involved. Airside access, in all cases, requires escort by the ground handler. With special permission it may be possible to bring private ground transportation to the aircraft. This must, however, be arranged via airport authorities, and passengers and driver will need to be screened – either at the GA terminal at LGAV or at the main terminal for other airports in Greece – prior to a vehicle taking passengers to the aircraft. Please also note that any approvals for such vehicle access are at the discretion of airport authorities.
9. Additional reading: "Business Aircraft Operations in Greece" series index
Links will be added as new articles are published.
- Part 1 – Airports Ops
- Part 2 – Ground handling
- Part 3 – CIQ
- Part 4 – Fuel, Security, and Other Services
- Part 5 – Permits and PPRs
- Part 6 – Flight Planning and Weather
- Part 7 – Hotels and Local Area
Security at Greek airports is good and usually meets all EU standards. Should you wish to arrange airside vehicle access or private aircraft security, it’s best to make arrangements with your ground handler prior to day of operation. Aviation fuel is typically readily available at major airports in Greece, but it’s always recommended to make arrangements in advance. Also, be aware of taxes such as MOT and VAT that are added to the fuel price.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Greece, contact me at email@example.com.
Later, we’ll discuss permits, PPRs, and slots for Greece and their impact on your trip.