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Heraklion International Airport

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Heraklion International Airport "Nikos Kazantzakis" (IATA: HER, ICAO: LGIR) is the primary airport on the island of Crete, Greece, and the country's second busiest airport after Athens International Airport. It is located about 5 km east of the main city centre of Heraklion, near the municipality of Nea Alikarnassos. It is a shared civil/military facility. The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher. Nikos Kazantzakis Airport is Crete's main and busiest airport, serving Heraklion (Ηράκλειο), Aghios Nikolaos (Άγιος Νικόλαος), Malia (Mάλλια), Hersonissos (Χερσόνησος), Stalida (Σταλίδα), Elounda (Ελούντα) and other resorts.

Heraklion International Airport
"Nikos Kazantzakis"

Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου
"Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"
Heraklion International airport.png
Airport typePublic / Military
OwnerGreek State
LocationHeraklion, Greece
Opened1937 (1937)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL115 ft / 35 m
Coordinates35°20′23″N 25°10′49″E / 35.33972°N 25.18028°E / 35.33972; 25.18028Coordinates: 35°20′23″N 25°10′49″E / 35.33972°N 25.18028°E / 35.33972; 25.18028
HER is located in Greece
Location of airport in Greece
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,714 8,800 Asphalt
12/30 1,566 5,138 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Passenger traffic changeIncrease 10.4%
Aircraft movements55,680
Aircraft movements changeIncrease 8.9%
Sources: Runways[1] Statistics: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority[2]


The airport first opened in March 1939. This was then merely a piece of flat agricultural land. The first aeroplane (a Junkers Ju 52) carried the first passengers to the site. During the Second World War operations ceased, but in the fall of 1946 traffic resumed, introducing the DC-3 aircraft.[3]

At first, the airport only offered very basic service, with only primitive installations on the site, in the form of three tents, smoke for wind determination and storm lamps for runway lighting.

In 1947, the first (small) terminal was erected. Hellenic Airlines started commercial flights in 1948. At that time, a total of 4,000 people were served. The year 1953 saw the construction of a paved runway which was initially 1,850 meters long and oriented as 09/27. The next major event followed in 1954, when a four-engined DC-4 aircraft landed for the first time at the airport. In that year the airport handled approximately 18,000 passengers. From 1957 onward, the new Olympic Airways used the airport, starting services with the DC-6 aircraft. Jojo AIr also flew here but ended service on July 2, 2001.

From 1968 until 1971, the runway was extended to 2,680 meters and a new terminal and other facilities were constructed, essentially making it a new airport. On March 18, 1971, the first charter flight from abroad (British Airways) operated at the airport. The new airport itself was officially inaugurated on May 5, 1972.

Terminal ExtensionEdit

The latest airport expansion projects began in October 2017. The projects will be entirely financed by the Duty Free Shops SA, in agreement with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Hellenic Ministry of Waters, without any cost to the Greek government, include:[4][5][6][7]

  • the redesign of the layout of the ground and the first floors of the airport
  • the expansion of the terminal by 2,900 m2), an extension of 17 meters to the airside
  • the renovation of a further 8,000 m2) within the existing terminal
  • the increase in the number of gates for arrivals and departures of passengers
  • integration of the arrival hall
  • the modification of a luggage belt, so that passengers are not required to queues for their receipt
  • improve the operation of electronic ticketing
  • upgrading the video ad system
  • the modernization of air conditioning in the arrivals hall (budget 700.000 Euros)

The latest extension began on October 2017 and was completed on 30 March 2018, in time for the airport's high season.[8][9][10]

Further events

Year Event
1973–1975 Construction of aircraft hangars and service roads
1988 Inauguration of new international departure and arrivals lounges (900 m2)
1992 Completion of new international arrivals lounge
1994 Operation of new international departures lounge (2,000 m2)
1996 Completion of airport expansion by 11,700 m2
1997 Operation of new international departures lounge (5,000 m2)
2005 Completion of airport expansion by 18,985 m2
2018 Expansion of the terminal by 2,900 m2 and renovation of a further 8,000 m2

Airlines and destinationsEdit

Aegean Airlines Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Beirut, Bordeaux, Brest,[11] Deauville, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Larnaca, Lyon, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Munich, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv,[12] Toulouse, Zurich,[13] Yerevan
Seasonal charter: Gdańsk,[14] Kiev–Boryspil,[15] Poznań,[14] Tbilisi[16]
Aeroflot Seasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Moldova Seasonal charter: Chișinău[17]
airBaltic Seasonal charter: Riga[18]
Aircompany Armenia Seasonal: Yerevan
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino[19]
Arkia Seasonal: Tel Aviv
ASL Airlines France Seasonal Charter: Lyon,[20] Manchester[20]
Astra Airlines Thessaloniki
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
Seasonal charter: Graz,[21] Linz,[21] Salzburg[21]
Aviolet Seasonal charter: Belgrade[22]
Blu-express Seasonal: Bergamo,[23] Rome–Fiumicino
BlueBird Airways Seasonal: Tel Aviv
British Airways Seasonal: London–Gatwick[24]
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels[25]
Bulgaria Air Seasonal charter: Sofia[26]
Chair Airlines Seasonal: Zürich
Condor Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Europe[27] Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Bremen, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Friedrichshafen (begins 4 May 2020), Graz, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Katowice (begins 3 May 2020), Leipzig/Halle, Linz, Memmingen (begins 3 May 2020), Münster/Osnabrück, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Rostock (begins 28 April 2020),[28] Stuttgart, Vienna, Zurich
Corendon Dutch Airlines[29] Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels, Groningen, Maastricht/Aachen, Rotterdam
Cyprus Airways Larnaca
easyJet Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Bristol, Edinburgh, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
easyJet Switzerland Seasonal: Geneva
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zurich
Ellinair Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Belgrade,[30] Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice, Kharkiv (begins 28 May 2020)[31], Kiev–Boryspil, Lviv, Odesa (begins 3 June 2020)[32], Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Tbilisi
Seasonal charter: Mineralnye Vody,[33]
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Katowice,[34] Warsaw–Chopin,[34] Wrocław[34]
Eurowings Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Stuttgart, Vienna
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
FlyOne Seasonal charter: Chișinău[17]
Freebird Airlines Europe Seasonal charter: Leipzig/Halle (begins 2 May 2020)[35]
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Israir Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv[36][37] Seasonal: Belfast–International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lauda Seasonal: Düsseldorf
Lufthansa Seasonal: Frankfurt,[38] Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Neos[39] Seasonal: Bergamo, Bologna, Milan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino, Verona
NordStar Seasonal charter: Moscow–Domodedovo
Nordwind Airlines Seasonal charter: Chelyabinsk,[40] Kaliningrad,[40] Kazan,[40] Krasnodar,[40] Moscow–Sheremetyevo,[40] Nizhny Novgorod,[40] Novosibirsk,[40] Omsk,[40] Perm,[40] Rostov-on-Don-Platov,[40] Saint Petersburg,[40] Samara,[40] Ufa,[40] Voronezh,[40] Yekaterinburg[40]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Ryanair Seasonal: Bergamo, Berlin–Tegel,[41] Bologna, Milan–Malpensa
Ryanair Sun Seasonal charter: Katowice,[34] Poznań,[34] Warsaw-Chopin[34]
Sky Express Athens, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos[42]
Seasonal: Paros[43]
SkyUp Seasonal charter: Kharkiv (begins 2 May 2020),[44] Kiev–Boryspil,[44] Lviv (begins 1 May 2020)[44] Odessa (begins 2 June 2020),[44] Zaporizhia (begins 31 May 2020)[44]
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga[45]
SmartLynx Airlines Estonia Seasonal charter: Tallinn[45][46]
Smartwings[47] Seasonal: Brno, Katowice (resumes 26 April 2020),[48] Lille,[49] Ostrava, Prague
Smartwings Poland Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Poznań,[50] Warsaw–Chopin,[50] Wrocław[34]
Smartwings Slovakia[47] Seasonal: Bratislava, Košice
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt,[51] Hannover,[52] Leipzig/Halle,[53] Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart[51]
Sundair Seasonal: Bremen, Dresden, Kassel
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva
Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia Seasonal Charter: Billund,[54] Copenhagen,[54] Gothenburg,[55] Malmö,[55] Oslo–Gardermoen,[56] Stockholm–Arlanda[55]
Transavia Seasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam
Transavia France Seasonal: Lyon, Nantes, Paris–Orly
TUI Airways[57] Seasonal: Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Exeter, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Norwich
Seasonal charter: Dublin[58]
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Brussels, Charleroi, Ostend/Bruges, Strasbourg
TUI fly Deutschland Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Munich, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Saarbrücken, Stuttgart, Vienna
TUI fly Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam
Ural Airlines Seasonal charter: Yekaterinburg[59]
Volotea Athens
Seasonal: Bari, Genoa (begins 8 July 2020),[60] Marseille, Naples, Palermo, Venice, Verona
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona, Rome–Fiumicino
Windrose Airlines Seasonal charter: Kiev–Boryspil[15]
White Airways Seasonal charter: Lisbon/Sintra (begins 31 March 2020)[citation needed]
Wizz Air Seasonal: Budapest, Kutaisi (begins 3 July 2020)[61]
Yakutia Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow–Vnukovo[59]


Traffic figuresEdit

Historical annual traffic statistics[62]

Year Flights Passengers Passengers Change (%)
2001 39,290 5,046,726   2.0
2002 36,664 4,791,729   5.1
2003 39,523 4,833,507   0.9
2004 38,170 4,712,508   2,5
2005 38,266 4,932,911   4.7
2006 43,740 5,345,652   8.4
2007 46,012 5,438,369   1.7
2008 45,280 5,437,068   0.02
2009 44,842 5,052,840   7.1
2010 42,396 4,907,337   2.9
2011 44,520 5,292,687   7.9
2012 40,856 5,076,329   4.6
2013 43,544 5,792,429   14.7
2014 43,637 6,024,958   5.2
2015 43,970 6,057,355   0.5
2016 47,804 6,742,746   11.3
2017 51,114 7,336,783   8.8
2018 55,680 8,098,465   10.4
2019 (Jan-Jul) 27,990 4,150,119   0.14

Other facilitiesEdit

The airline Bluebird Airways has its head office at the airport.[63]


  • It is often requested by airlines that passengers do not take any photographs or video of the runway. This is because of a Hellenic Air Force base (126 CG) which operates at the airport.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nikos Kazantzakis". WorldAeroData. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. ^ "HERAKLION AIRPORT "N.KAZANTZAKIS"". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Heraklion Airport History". Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Προχωρούν τα έργα στο αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου - Πότε παραδίδεται το νέο κτίριο (φωτο)".
  5. ^ "Χρ. Σπίρτζης: "Χωρίς κόστος για το δημόσιο η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου"".
  6. ^ "Παίρνει μπροστά η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  7. ^ "Παραχωρήθηκε η έκταση για την αναβάθμιση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου".
  8. ^ "Αυτό είναι το ... νέο αεροδρόμιο !".
  9. ^ "Εικόνες από τους νέους χώρους του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  10. ^ "Συνεχίζονται και ολοκληρώνονται οι εργασίες στο Αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου ενόψει της έναρξης της τουριστικής σεζόν".
  11. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Aegean Airlines Adds Brest Service in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  12. ^
  13. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Update as of 15SEP14: Aegean Airlines to Open 23 Routes in S15". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Charter flights". Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Timetable".
  16. ^ "ANDA Air and Aegean Airlines to increase flights in Georgia". 15 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Timetable".
  18. ^ "Timetable".
  19. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Alitalia Adds New Seasonal Service June – August 2014". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ a b c "Timetable".
  22. ^
  23. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Blu Express Adds New Milan Bergamo – Greece Seasonal Routes Jul – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  24. ^ "British Airways Announce Summer London Gatwick – Heraklion Route. - The BA Source". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  25. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "brussels airlines Adds New Destinations in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Timetable".
  27. ^ "Flights to Heraklion".
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Ticket Heraklion".
  30. ^ "Ellinair - Ellinair Airlines -Αρχική Σελίδα - Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα -". Ellinair. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Tour operator Mouzenidis Travel". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g "Charter flights". Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  35. ^ "Tui sends Freebird Europe to Leipzig / Halle - Airbus A320 is stationed in Schkeuditz". 4 October 2019.
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Flight Timetables -".
  38. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Lufthansa S19 European network additions".
  39. ^ "Flight Times".
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Flight Search". 19 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Ryanair to swap German bases with LaudaMotion". 20 October 2018.
  42. ^ "Sky Express schedules additional domestic routes in 2Q18". Routesonline.
  43. ^ "Sky Express new domestic routes addition in S17". Routesonline.
  44. ^ a b c d e "freight monitor".
  45. ^ a b "Novaturas Flights en". Novaturas flights. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  46. ^ "Timetable".
  47. ^ a b "Flight schedule".
  48. ^ Liu, Jim (2 October 2019). "Travel Service S20 Poland network adjustment as of 27SEP19".
  49. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings adds various French routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  50. ^ a b "air and charter tickets". Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  51. ^ a b 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S17 new routes as of 23MAR17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  52. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S15 Planned New Routes". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  53. ^ "SunExpress Germany S18 new routes as of 15NOV17". Routesonline.
  54. ^ a b "Flight".
  55. ^ a b c "Flight".
  56. ^ "Flight".
  57. ^ "Flight Timetable".
  58. ^ {{cite web |url= Timetable|}
  59. ^ a b "Timetable".
  60. ^ Liu, Jim. "Volotea S20 network additions as of 10OCT19". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  61. ^ Liu, Jim (17 July 2019). "Wizz Air boosts Kutaisi network from Sep 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  62. ^ "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994–2014" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  63. ^ "Contact." (Archive) Bluebird Airways. Retrieved on 19 September 2012. "Offices: Heraklion International Airport "N.Kazantzakis" – Address in Greek Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine: "Γραφεία: Κρατικός αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"

External linksEdit

  Media related to Heraklion International Airport at Wikimedia Commons