George Mavros - CEO Skylink Services

Skylink Services owns and operates the FBO (Fixed - base operator) terminal intended for the service of private flights to and from Cyprus. It is based in Larnaka International Airport and is considered as one of the leading ground handling companies for private jets and VIP travelers in Europe. The company’s managing director, George Mavros, explains how the company has managed to gain such a reputation and momentum.

Text: Charalambos Nikopoulos

Sky is the limit!

In 2019 your company was recognized as the Best Handler in Europe, a very important award. Which are the elements that govern your operation and do you think that they are responsible for your success, not just as it pertains to this recognition but in general?

The Best Handler in Europe award was a great honor but also a confirmation that our efforts in providing high quality services all these years did not go unnoticed. This award is a product of both the vision of the company’s shareholders, as well as the hard work by its employees. Our main goal as a company is to provide a high level of service towards our customers around the world. We always strive to provide our customers with services that meet their expectations, hence every year we invest in both staff training and the upgrading of our infrastructure.

Which are those non-negotiable virtues that a ground-based aircraft and VIP travel company must possess in order to satisfy its customer’s needs?

Our company's mission is primarily focused on providing a high level of ground handling services and the implementation of innovative solutions, thus offering great value for money to our customers and ensuring immediate, safe, comfortable and reliable operation on the ground. Our values are consistent ​​with stability in the way we operate, commitment to our goals, teamwork, immediacy, the ability to adapt and respond to each challenge and most importantly with respect.

How much room is there for growth in Cyprus in the coming years for the luxury sector and the relevant exclusive services that you offer? What is your assessment?

Cyprus, due to its good geographical position, is on a trajectory to becoming a business hub. The fact that it has now been confirmed that it sits over a vast area of proven natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, has given it an even greater strategic importance.  Moreover, in terms of taxation, Cyprus now offers one of the most attractive tax systems in Europe.

The country offers a simplified efficient and transparent tax system, fully compliant with European laws and regulations, thus attracting a large volume of investors and entrepreneurs who choose to fly privately. Due to its privileged position, it serves as a refueling station for private flights from the USA to the Middle East and Asia.

Are you satisfied and to what extent with your cooperation with the competent ministries and state bodies, in issues such as the relevant legislation or the acceleration of procedures, so that you can develop as positively as possible?

In our opinion, our cooperation with State Services and Hermes Airports is impeccable. Our cooperation with the competent ministries mainly concerns the execution of flights of Heads of State and High Guests of the Government. The cooperation with Hermes Airports is based on our excellent business relations, a sound groundwork for the smooth operation of the flights and the general flow of our work.

What kind of treatment should these recognizable and outstanding passengers expect?

What our customers expect is exactly what we are able to offer! Namely high quality services, starting from the red carpet on the steps of the aircraft, the fleet of vehicles that we have for their transport to the terminal and wherever they need to move, the high quality catering, discretion and confidentiality. The company staff and management take great pride in providing the most efficient services, ensuring discretion and the safekeeping of all customer information, including heads of state, with the utmost confidentiality and respect for privacy and personal data. This is one of the main reasons that our customers choose our company.

Design, digital technology, style, clothing, good manners, haute cuisine. How important is all this for Skylink's profile and where do you place the most emphasis?

All of the aforementioned aspects are extremely important for our profile as a company, since these are the specific elements that form our company’s identity, which is the main reason our company has achieved such recognition and has strengthened its position in the market. This identity has been the driving force behind the promotion and development of the company but also the reason its stands out among its competitors.

Can you share with us any occasion where Skylink has managed to perfectly handle an extremely demanding situation relating to a famous person?

Within our day to day operation we often face demanding situations which due to the experienced and well-trained staff we always manage to handle successfully. One such instance, where our company was employed to carry out was on June 6th of 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI concluded a historic visit to Cyprus, and departed from the Heads of State Lounge which is located at the Terminal (FBO).

Another example came about in the second half of the year 2012, when the Republic of Cyprus took over the rotating EU Presidency. During that time the Terminal (FBO) and the Heads of State Lounge were effectively operated by Skylink Services, ensuring that the increased traffic due to representatives and heads of state was dealt with smoothly and successfully.

Finally, another instance in May 2014, was the visit of the then US Vice President Joe Biden, a very demanding visit in which Skylink Services, for its part, offered its impeccable services.

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