Nikos Kontoyannis

CEO OF APELLA S.A.

Greece 2022  I  Energy & Industry  I  Interview

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_BIOGRAPHY Born in 1968 in Oklahoma, USA, he grew up in Greece until he returned to the United States for his college studies. He obtained a BE in Electrical Engineering with Honors from Stevens Inst. of Technology in 1989, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in 1991, and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in Biomedical Engineering in 2000.

“WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH OURSELVES AS ONE OF THE PREMIER COMPONENT MROS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS IN THE REGION KNOWN FOR OUR RELIABILITY, OUR QUALITY OF WORK AND OUR CUSTOMER-CENTRIC APPROACH.”

APELLA IS CELEBRATING ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2022. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY'S MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS?

 

As a privately-owned aviation MRO organization, APELLA is challenging the industry narrative and experiencing continual growth since its inception in 1987. Founded with the vision to support local and regional airliners in their mission to offer safe and cost-effective transportation services, APELLA is now a recognized leader that aims to provide a base maintenance facility in-country that will be able to support the needs of customers in Southeast Europe. We have been operating since 1998 as an aircraft maintenance center certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), regularly supporting the flight operations of all Greek airlines such as Aegean, Olympic Air, Sky Express, and many others as well as the logistical needs of the Hellenic Armed Forces through competitive tender procedures. We have been able to establish ourselves as one of the premier component MROs and service providers in the region known for our reliability, our quality of work, and our customer-centric approach.

 

Apella is one of Lockheed Martin’s approved vendors and supports the F-16 modernization program of the HAF, which involves the gradual upgrade of its fleet to the F-16 Viper variant. We recently received a Quality Excellence Award by Lockheed Martin praising our focus on high standards, quality, and customer satisfaction. APELLA also supports the global F-16 production efforts taking place at the HAI facility in Greece. We are very proud that our customers feel that Apella will support their mission with 100% of its energy and provide everything from design to manufacture and in-service operations of an aircraft.

 

Our differentiating factor is our people. We have a great team on board, that spans the space in expertise, knowledge, and breadth of experiences in multiple aviation fields allowing us to be very agile in providing quality solutions to our customers. Furthermore, APELLA has managed to cultivate and maintain a family business culture which makes it easier for employees to feel empowered and cared for at the same time.

 

THE COVID PANDEMIC HAS GREATLY AFFECTED THE INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT AND MILITARY INVESTMENTS. WHAT IS THE STRATEGIC PLAN AND MAIN PRIORITIES FOR THE COMPANY IN 2022/23?

 

As much as the pandemic has impacted all aspects of the economy, it has also created opportunities. Our involvement in both the defense and the civil aviation sectors provides stability and sufficient diversification that allows us to plan forward. Our growth plan which involves the development of our base maintenance facility in Central Greece puts us in a position to expand our capabilities and service offerings and capitalize on opportunities created due to the increased frequency of aircraft transactions. Furthermore, a base maintenance facility supported by our mature network of partners and suppliers, expands our customer base globally due to our aircraft painting and maintenance service offerings.

 

BEING THE APPROVED VENDORS OF SOME OF THE WORLD’S LEADING COMPANIES, SUCH AS LOCKHEED MARTIN, IS THE RECOGNITION OF YOUR INVESTMENTS IN STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING. WHAT IS YOUR INVESTMENT PLAN FOR UPCOMING YEARS?

 

We are investing heavily in green technologies that are not only environmentally friendly and energy efficient but time efficient as well. Our state-of-the-art painting facility will turn-around aircraft quicker with less waste and reduce our carbon footprint considerably. Also we are collaborating with world-renowned educational institutions to offer training programs in engineering and specifically aviation maintenance with hands-on practical training in our facility. These programs will constitute the main source of skilled labor needed for us to maintain our quality and reliability to our customers.

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FINAL MESSAGE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS WHO WILL RECEIVE THIS EDITION OF THE INVESTOR GREECE?

 

My main message would be to trust Greece and its momentum. Greece has amazing unrealized potential in many areas and provides advantages in geographical location, energy, stability, and security that we are also counting on to implement our growth plan.