Universal Aviation, the ground handling arm of global aviation services provider Universal Weather and Aviation, has expanded its coverage in Europe with the opening of Universal Aviation Greece – Paros. The location, which began operations last week, is Universal’s third in Greece along with its Mykonos office which opened last year and its Athens headquarters, which has existed since 1993 and provides supervisory ground support to the entire country.
The Paros operation serves the island, which has become one of Greece’s most popular tourist destinations with local, dedicated staff directly supporting operators.
“Traffic to Paros has been growing steadily for years, but since the pandemic, it surged to new heights, with pent-up demand making demand for slots, parking, and services even more challenging,” said Yiannis Arkoulis, managing director for Universal’s Greece operation.
Adolfo Aragon, the company’s senior v-p, noted that based on booking and trip inquiries Universal expects traffic to Greece to exceed last year’s record-setting volumes. “We’re aggressively expanding throughout the Mediterranean to meet this pent-up demand and enhance our customers’ ground experience at congested and challenging destinations like Paros,” he said.
At EBACE, Universal (Booth M59) announced that it has received Stage 1 registration under the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) for its Madrid location at Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez Barajas Airport. The Madrid office is the headquarters for Universal’s Spain division, which earlier this year expanded its operations to six other airports (Almeria, Ciudad Real, Granada, Jerez, Malaga, and Seville) due to a partnership with Andalucia Aviation, bringing it to a total of nine locations in the country. Spain has experienced a surge in private aviation traffic of late, even exceeding pre-pandemic levels in some locations.
“Earning IS-BAH accreditation at our Spain headquarters in Madrid demonstrates that we are committed not just to meeting the pent-up demand but doing so at the highest levels of safety and service,” explained Gonzalo Barona Jr., Universal’s country manager for Spain. “We are committed to working toward IS-BAH accreditation at all of our locations.”
Lastly, the company noted that weekend operations at London-area RAF Northolt Airport will begin on June 1, giving customers seven-day-a-week access.
“Limited hours are the only thing that have held Northolt back from being one of the London area’s most popular business aviation airports,” said Sean Raftery, Universal’s regional managing director. “Since we took over operation of Northolt in 2021, this is the second time we’ve worked with the RAF to extend the airport’s hours.”