Greece is a beautiful country with sunny days more than 300 days per year. Extraordinary beaches in the dozens of Aegean and Ioanian islands. It is very common for our valuable tourists and businessmen to use helicopter air taxi services to save time, reaching destinations like Mikonos, Santorini, Paros, Antiparos, Spetses, Crete, Skiathos etc or for island hopping and sight seeing.
We strongly advise, when booking a helicopter flight, always request the AOC (Air Operators Certificate) of the air carrier.
If this is not presented to you it is most likely you are booking a “pirate” flight. Absence of on-line price list for services or not written quotation should make you think twice. In some cases brokers book the flight for you and they give you quotation or invoice as if it is their own fleet. This is the most tricky. Although most brokers have excellent cooperation with the certified air carriers we have indication for some who use private helicopters in order to maximize their profit or because the air carriers canceled their agreements. ALWAYS ASK FOR THE AOC CERTIFICATE. THE REGISTRATION OF THE HELICOPTER SHOULD BE INCLUDED.
In most cases pirate flights are slightly cheaper but as expected “you get what you pay for”. Using “pirates” for your flight means that you don’t get any record or invoice, you are not insured, pilots don’t get the proper training around the clock as required, the aircraft maintenance program and aircraft systems and provisions may not comply with regulations for commercial operations. Take into consideration that if authorities notice (and sooner or later they will), you may have legal consequences since you are participating an illegal flight. There are serious penalties for the pilot, operator as well as for the owner of the helicopter since they are all considered accomplices to felony.
It is extremely disappointing to have respectable and well known entrepreneurs trying to reduce the annual cost of their private helicopters getting involved in such serious risks. A huge investigation is undergoing this month by the Hellenic TAX Office and Financial Police.
We have excellent helicopter fleet in Greece and a lot of air taxi carriers, qualified and certified for you to choose and enjoy an amazing and safe flight experience.