Mykonos, Greece: 2023 Business Aviation Destination Guide
Mykonos is one of the most popular summer destinations in the Mediterranean and in 2021 was ranked the No. 1 destination in Europe. In peak season, the island is dotted with luxury yachts. Its exclusive villas, private resorts, and popular restaurants are teeming with a who’s who of the wealthy and famous. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning to operate a business jet to Mykonos.
Mykonos peak season
Peak season on Mykonos traditionally ran from June to September. However, since the pademic, all of the Greek Islands have seen their peak seasons extended. Peak season on Mykonos now runs from May through October.
Mykonos has just one small airport, Mykonos Airport (LGMK), serving the island for commercial and GA traffic. Due to the island’s popularity, historically, Mykonos can be a challenging destination due to the difficulty in obtaining slots and then coordinating parking for the aircraft off the island.
Mykonos Airport is a 24-hour airport of entry.
Slots and PPR
Mykonos requires both slots and PPR. At Mykonos, GA operators must compete with commercial operators for the same slots. Scheduled commercial operations take priority, making available slots extremely limited.
While commercial operators may request slots months in advance, the earliest GA can request an airport slot is 14 days before the estimated time of arrival or departure.
Slot tolerance is +/- 15 mins. Heavy fines apply for slot violations and sanctions may apply when an aircraft or an operator is found to misbehave repeatedly.
Mykonos (LGMK) sometimes tends to be slower than other locations in approving PPRs due to the increased demand. Be mindful that LGMK is so congested during high season that air traffic control (ATC) may reduce movements per hour while authorities allow you to stay on the ground for up to 40 minutes.
GA parking at Mykonos during peak season is not available. Per a Greek NOTAM, Mykonos only allows operators to remain on the ground for a maximum of 40 minutes from May 1 to September 30th or even further if demand remains high. While drop and goes are always an option at Mykonos, you’ll need to carefully juggle the schedule based on available PPRs and airport slots. Universal Aviation Greece – Mykonos and the 24/7 ops center and Universal Aviation Greece – Athens can coordinate drop-and-goes and parking at surrounding airports.
Ground Handling, FBOs & CIQ
Because slots are so limited and parking is not available at Mykonos, choosing a reputable handler with people on the ground and 24/7 backup coverage throughout Greece to coordinate drop-and-goes is critical. Universal Aviation is the only handler with its own people on Mykonos entirely dedicated to business aviation and a global network backing it up, including a 24/7 ops center capable of coordinating full coverage throughout Greece.
Universal Aviation Greece – Mykonos can rapidly take advantage of opportunities such as when slots become open rapidly due to its agents on the ground closely monitoring traffic and cancelations.
Mandatory GA Lounge
CIQ is now performed at the new lounge. It’s located next to the terminal, and available only to general aviation flights. Security and CIQ is performed in the lounge and only luggage on departure is processed through the commercial terminal for proper screening. The lounge is not subject to booking as it’s not optional but mandatory to all GA aircraft. The cost is 2,000 euros per live leg (if an aircraft carries pax both inbound and outbound it sums up to 4,000 euros lounge cost).
Equipment and push-back
Like most Greek airports, Mykonos has only nose-in parking positions for mid/large jets. Operators are advised to load their tow bar/tow head and have it available for use. Even though there is equipment for several aircraft types available in Mykonos, having to use a push-back tractor may result in waiting for a while until the equipment is free from the previous aircraft using it.
Note: GL7T is not assigned to push-back stands, as the tow bar is short and there is a safety issue during the procedure (on the 90-degree turn, the tow truck hits the aircraft’s nose). Due to this, two parking spots are required for self-maneuvering, and it’s approved only late at night, or early morning.
During peak season, expect to pay over 300 euros per night for nice hotels in Mykonos. Rooms are booked weeks in advance despite the expensive non-refundable rates.
Limos, luxury sedans, large SUVs, jeeps, and luxury minivans are available on the island during the Summer season. Still, due to demand, delays, and constant schedule changes, unfortunately, we’ve seen cases where passengers faced short delays on their pick-up. Before booking your ground transfer, consult with your travel agent, local handler, trip planner on the type of vehicle suitable to reach your lodging. There are villas or marinas in remote areas where minivans or limos are not the most convenient way to travel, driving through narrow and sometimes bumpy roads. You can get a free quote for ground transportation through Drivania Chauffeurs.
Be aware that GA uplift delays at Mykonos are relatively common during peak travel days as scheduled commercial operations always take priority. For example, Mondays and Fridays are often peak arrival/departure periods. Saturday is one of the slow days of the week as most GA arrivals occur before this and stay over the weekend.
There is a licensed catering provider approved by the airport supporting both airlines and executive orders. A 24-hour prior notice is required to accept orders. Sometimes, depending on the complexity of an order or the heavy load, more time might be needed. Passengers may bring their own catering with them as personal belonging. Mind the fact that the food will have to go through screening before boarding the aircraft, the same as all luggage. For assistance with in-flight catering, Air Culinaire Worldwide can help.
Aircraft security is not a concern since aircraft remain on the ground only for short turnarounds. There are security teams on the island offering their services. Universal Aviation Greece can make arrangements if needed.
Helicopter transfers frequently occur in Mykonos, carrying:
- Passengers from yachts to the airport to board their jets
- Passengers who preferred to land their jets in Athens to avoid slot restrictions and delays and travel to the island on a helicopter
- Passengers on tours over the Aegean Sea or to visit surrounding islands, like Santorini, have a lunch overlooking the caldera and back to Mykonos.
Universal Aviation Greece has an agreement in place with heli companies able to support. Since heli transfers are common in Greece, please plan your trip a few days in advance to secure the heli of our choice and according to your needs.
Mykonos is one of the busiest destinations for business aviation on the Mediterranean. Operators are encouraged to send their slot requests in as soon as possible to ensure their ability to travel to the island. Operators are advised to choose a handler that can coordinate their arrival to Mykonos but also their parking on the Greek mainland, as parking is not an option.