Heraklion International Airport

Heraklion International Airport
“Nikos Kazantzakis”

Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου
“Νίκος Καζαντζάκης”
Airport type Public / Military
Owner Greek State
Serves Heraklion
Location Heraklion, Greece
Opened 1937 (1937)
Hub for
Focus city for

Aegean Airlines

Elevation AMSL 115 ft / 35 m
Coordinates 35°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

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 (2015)
Passengers 6,057,355
Passenger traffic change Increase 0.5%
Aircraft movements 43,970
Aircraft movements change Increase 0.2%
Sources: Runways[1] Statistics: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority[2]

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 center 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.


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 ressumed, 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.

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.

Further events

Year Event
1973–1975 Construction of aircraft hangars and service roads
1988 Inauguration of new foreign departure and arrivals lounges (900 m2)
1992 Completion of new foreign arrivals lounge
1994 Operation of new foreign departures lounge (2,000 m 2)
1996 Completion of airport extension by 11,700 m2
1997 Operation of new foreign departures lounge (5,000 m2)
2005 Completion of airport extension by 18,985 m2

Airlines and destinations

Adria Airways Seasonal charter: Ljubljana
Aegean Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam, Berlin–Tegel, Bordeaux, Brest,[4] Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Larnaca, London–Gatwick, Lyon, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Milan–Malpensa, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Prague, Saint Petersburg, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Toulouse, Vienna, Zürich[5]
Seasonal charter: Budapest, Iași
AeroflotSeasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
operated by Rossiya
Seasonal: Saint Petersburg
airBaltic Seasonal charter: Riga
Air Berlin Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Zürich
Air Moldova Seasonal charter: Chișinău
Alitalia Seasonal: Milan–Linate, Rome–Fiumicino[6]
Astra Airlines Thessaloniki[7][8]
operated by Air Serbia
Seasonal charter: Belgrade
Austrian AirlinesSeasonal: Vienna
BH Air Seasonal charter: Sofia[9]
operated by Blue Panorama Airlines
Seasonal: Bergamo,[10] Rome–Fiumicino
BlueBird Airways Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
British Airways Seasonal: London–Gatwick[11]
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels[12]
Cobalt Air Larnaca [13]
CondorSeasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Manchester, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Dutch AirlinesSeasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels, Groningen (begins 21 April 2017), Maastricht/Aachen (begins 21 April 2017)
Czech AirlinesSeasonal: Skopje
easyJet Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Bristol, Edinburgh, Hamburg,[14] London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
easyJet SwitzerlandSeasonal: Geneva
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Seasonal: Athens, Berlin–Tegel,[15] Bucharest, Katowice, Kiev–Boryspil, Moscow-Vnukovo, Munich,[15] Santorini, Saint Petersburg,[16] Yekaterinburg (begins 1 June 2017), Warsaw-Chopin
Seasonal charter: Belgrade, Lviv,[17] Samara (begins 8 June 2017), Riga (begins 25 May 2017), Volgograd (begins 5 June 2017)[18]
Eurowings Seasonal: Düsseldorf[19]
FinnairSeasonal: Helsinki
GermaniaSeasonal: Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Münster/Osnabrück, Rostock
Seasonal charter: Friedrichshafen
Germanwings Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart
Germania Flug Seasonal: Zürich
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Copenhagen
Jet2.com Seasonal: Birmingham (begins 30 April 2017),[20] East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London-Stansted (begins 30 April 2017),[21] Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lufthansa Seasonal: Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
MeridianaSeasonal: Bologna, Milan-Linate,[22] Milan–Malpensa, Verona
Mistral AirSeasonal: Naples
Monarch AirlinesSeasonal: Birmingham[23]
Neos Seasonal: Bergamo, Bologna, Milan–Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino,
NordStar Seasonal charter: Moscow–Domodedovo, Norilsk[24]
NikiSeasonal: Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna
Norwegian Air ShuttleSeasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Novair Seasonal charter: Stockholm–Arlanda
Olympic Air
operated by Aegean Airlines
Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Rhodes
Sky Express Athens, Kos, Rhodes
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal: Lublin (begins 21 June 2017)[25]
Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga
operated by Travel Service
Seasonal: Brno, Budapest, Debrecen,[26] Ostrava, Prague
operated by Travel Service (Slovakia)[27]
Seasonal: Bratislava, Košice
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Hannover,[28] Munich, Nuremberg
Sun D'Or
operated by El Al
Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva
TAROM Seasonal charter: Bucharest
Thomas Cook AirlinesSeasonal: Belfast–International, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Seasonal charter: Brussels, Liège
Thomas Cook Airlines
operated by SmartLynx Airlines
Seasonal: London-Gatwick [29]
Thomson AirwaysSeasonal: Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
TransaviaSeasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen
Transavia France Seasonal: Lyon, Nantes, Paris–Orly
Travel Service Seasonal charter: Prague
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal charter: Budapest
Travel Service Polska Seasonal charter: Warsaw–Chopin
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: Bratislava
TUI Airlines Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam
TUIflySeasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken, Vienna
Seasonal charter: Helsinki
TUIfly BelgiumSeasonal: Brussels, Charleroi
Seasonal charter: Liège, Lille, Ostend/Bruges
Tus AirSeasonal: Larnaca, Rhodes (begins 20 February 2017)[30]
Ural AirlinesSeasonal: Yekaterinburg
Volotea Seasonal: Bari, Naples, Palermo, Venice
VuelingSeasonal: Barcelona, Catania,[31] Rome–Fiumicino
Wizz Air Seasonal: Budapest


Busiest routes

Busiest European routes from Heraklion Airport per week[32]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Summer 2016 Top carriers
1 United Kingdom London LGW, LTN 43 Aegean Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines
2 France Paris CDG, ORY 32 Aegean Airlines, Air France, easyJet, Transavia France
3 Russia Moscow DME, SVO, VKO 32 Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Ellinair, Siberian Airlines, Ural Airlines
4 Czech Republic Prague PRG 30 Aegean Airlines, SmartWings
5 Italy Milan MXP, LIN 28 Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, easyJet
6 Germany Frankfurt FRA 28 Aegean Airlines, Condor
7 Germany Düsseldorf DUS 28 Aegean Airlines, Air Berlin, Condor, Eurowings
8 Belgium Brussels BRU 24 Aegean Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly
9 Austria Vienna VIE 23 Aegean Airlines, Austrian Airlines, NIKI (airline)
10 Germany Munich MUC 22 Aegean Airlines, Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa

Traffic figures

Annual passenger throughput – 14-year history[33]

Year Flights Passengers Passengers Change (%)
2001 39,290 5,046,726 Decrease -2.0
2002 36,664 4,791,729 Decrease -5.1
2003 39,523 4,833,507 Increase +0.9
2004 38,170 4,712,508 Decrease -2,5
2005 38,266 4,932,911 Increase +4.7
2006 43,740 5,345,652 Increase +8.4
2007 46,012 5,438,369 Increase +1.7
2008 45,280 5,437,068 Decrease -0.02
2009 44,842 5,052,840 Decrease -7.1
2010 42,396 4,907,337 Decrease -2.9
2011 44,520 5,292,687 Increase +7.9
2012 40,856 5,076,329 Decrease -4.6
2013 43,544 5,792,429 Increase +14.7
2014 43,637 6,024,958 Increase +5.2
2015 43,970 6,057,355 Increase +0.5

Other facilities

The airline Bluebird Airways has its head office at the airport.[34]


See also


  1. "Nikos Kazantzakis". WorldAeroData. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. "HERAKLION AIRPORT "N.KAZANTZAKIS"". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. "Heraklion Airport History". www.heraklion-airport.info. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  4. http://airlineroute.net/2015/10/12/a3-bes-s16/
  5. http://airlineroute.net/2014/09/15/a3-s15update1/
  6. http://airlineroute.net/2014/03/25/az-jun14/
  7. "New flights from Thessaloniki and Athens!". astra-airlines.gr. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  8. "Astra Airlines". Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. http://www.sofia-airport.bg/%D0%BF%D1%8A%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%B8/%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%BD%D0%B0-%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%84%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%8F/%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BE%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BC%D0%BF%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D0%B8
  10. http://airlineroute.net/2015/05/21/bv-bgy-jul15/
  11. http://www.thebasource.com/british-airways-announce-summer-london-gatwick-heraklion-route/
  12. http://airlineroute.net/2015/10/20/sn-europe-s16/
  13. https://booking.cobalt.aero/en/booking/search-flight/
  14. "easyJet adds 20 new routes for summer 2015". easyJet. 10 December 2014.
  15. 1 2 http://el.ellinair.com/
  16. http://www.mouzenidis.gr/avia-table/?CurPage=1&DepartureCityId=195&ArrivalCityId=218&DaysFlow=0&DateFrom=24-04-2016
  17. http://www.mouzenidis.gr/avia-table/?CurPage=1&DepartureCityId=195&ArrivalCityId=1008&DaysFlow=0&DateFrom=01-06-2016
  18. http://www.mouzenidis.gr/avia-table?CurPage=1&DepartureCityId=195&ArrivalCityId=358&DaysFlow=0&DateFrom=05-06-2017
  19. https://www.eurowings.com/en.html
  20. "Jet2.com Adds Birmingham Routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  21. http://www.jet2.com/timetable
  22. http://airlineroute.net/2016/04/26/ig-s16/
  23. http://www.monarch.co.uk/
  24. VQ-BDO, Boeing 737-800, NordStar Airlines – Large size. airpics.net. Retrieved on 2013-08-20.
  25. http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/270161/small-planet-expands-lublin-service-in-s17/
  26. http://airlineroute.net/2015/03/23/qs-hungary-s15/
  27. "SmartWings Contact". smartwings.com.
  28. http://airlineroute.net/2014/10/08/xg-s15update1/
  29. https://www.thomascook.com/flights/
  30. http://www.tusairways.com
  31. http://www.vueling.com/en
  32. "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994–2014" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  33. "Contact." (Archive) Bluebird Airways. Retrieved on 19 September 2012. "Offices: Heraklion International Airport "N.Kazantzakis" – Address in Greek: "Γραφεία: Κρατικός αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"

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