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Superior Air adds capacity ahead of summer influx
Demand for inter-island travel keeps growing in Greece, and Superior Air has positioned for another busy summer by adding more brand-new helicopters to its AOC.

Superior Air has added three Airbus Helicopters to its fleet; a 2023 ACH125 and two ACH135s. "One came off the production line in 2023 and the other in 2024," says sales manager Marianna Margeti. "And they smell beautiful."

The operator listened to its clients when they said they preferred twin engine helicopters, and brand new ones at that. But EASA regulations demand that in Greece, if a helicopter flies over water, it has to have a floatation system. Margeti explains that usually twin engines are too heavy for such systems, hence choosing the Airbus types, which have skids rather than wheels to which to attach them.

"We bought them for safety, and because we trust Airbus," she says. "We do a lot of island to island transfers."

The company also has single engines types, from Bell, Agusta, Robinson and others. These can make for a more cost effective charter but they still come in a VIP configuration.

Last year the operator completed more than 2,000 flights in the five months of summer, and this year it anticipates even greater demand. Almost 80 per cent of business comes from US clients, the rest are French, Swedish, Italian, Australian and Canadian. "And many Greeks," she adds. Its helicopters are distributed across Athens, Mikonos and the Santorini islands and are repositioned as required.

"We own our own heliports so we don't have to get slots at the airports, which is difficult to do in the summer," Margeti continues. "The heliports are a few minutes just outside the main airports so we offer complementary ground transport from the heliport to clients' villas or hotels. Because we own the heliports we can take off at any time we want, sunrise to sunset, so we don't face the restrictions that we would at the airports.

"If someone wants to go from Mykonos to Andiparos, a 10 minute flight, we will take the helicopter from Mykonos, we don't have to bring one over from Athens.

"We do many day trips over the islands in the summer and we provide transfers and ambulance flights, if needed. The Athens-based Agusta 109 can be converted to air ambulance configuration."

Superior Air started business in 2008 with a small Robinson R44 and then built up the fleet. It still operates that same R44 for training, it's an academy as well and it trains its own pilots, doing their recurrencies. It also has a maintenance facility, where the manager works on all the fleet and does the flight tests himself.

"First of all, what matters is safety," she says. "Our pilots are experienced and we do our own fleet maintenance. Even though we have very good weather in Greece, every day, if it is windy our pilots know at which altitude, how fast or how slow, so the passengers always get a smooth flight."

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