air transport economics

Air Carrier Operating Licence

Based on the recognition that financial health of the air carrier and operational safety may be linked, Regulation EC 1008/2008 establishes more stringent monitoring of the financial situation of air carriers.

The monitoring of the financial situation of air carriers is done through:

  • granting an Operating Licence to those air carriers that fulfill certain financial and other criteria and
  • continuously monitoring the licenced air carriers with respect to compliance to those criteria.

Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) is designated as the competent national authority for the purposes of Regulation (EC) 1008/2008.

Therefore, HCAA is responsible for assessing an application for and the issuing of an Operating Licence under the provisions of this Regulation to air carriers who have their principal place of business in Greece. The issued Operating Licence permits the holder to engage in the carriage by air of passengers, mail and/or cargo for remuneration and/or hire.

The HCAA grants two categories of Operating Licence:

  • Gategory A, which is required by operators of aircraft with 20 or more seats and/or over 10 tonnes MTOM (maximum take-off mass)
  • Gategory B which is required by operators of aircraft with 19 or fewer seats and/or less than 10 tonnes MTOM

Air Carriers that wish to acquire an Operating Licence by HCAA must meet certain prerequisites listed in article 4, EC 1008/2008, such as location, nature of business, ownership and control criteria, good repute, valid AOC, insurance etc.

For more information on the prerequisites and the application procedute, you may contact the Air Passenger Rights and Air Carriers Operating Licensing Section, Head of the division Despoina Boukouvala, tel: +30 210 3541329, e-mail: [email protected].

It should be noted that there are fixed charges for applications for both categories of Operating Licences.

IMPORTANT: Applicants for an Operating Licence need to have a valid Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC). HCAA is also responsible for issuing the relevant AOCs as well as other air carriers permissions and certificates required by law. For more information on other certificates and permissions please see Section “Airworthiness  --> Aircrafts”

HCAA is also responsible for monitoring Greek air carriers to which an operating licence has been granted to, with respect to:

  1. Economic Viability

Licenced Greek air carriers, especially those holding category A licence, are regularly audited and continuously oversighted by HCAA to ensure that their financial and economic state meets the requirements set by Regulation (EC) 1008/2008.

HCAA based on the auditing results reserves the rights to revoke or even suspend an issued Operating Licence.  It should be also noted that where an air carrier’s AOC is suspended or revoked, the HCAA should immediately suspend or revoke that air carrier’s operating licence.

  1. Any other event that may influence the validity of the granted operating licence 

Licenced Greek air carriers are obliged to report to HCAA any change that may influence the Operation Licence granted, such as:

  • any plans for the operation of a new air service to a continent or a world region not previously served of or any other substantial change in the scale of its activities, including, but not limited to, changes in the type or number of aircraft used (in advance)
  • any intended mergers or acquisitions (in advance)
  • any change in the ownership of any single shareholding which represents 10 % or more of the total shareholding of the Greek air carrier or of its parent or ultimate holding company (within 14 days)

 A full list of licenced Greek air carriers can be found here