John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
|John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków–Balice
|IATA: KRK – ICAO: EPKK|
|Operator||LHC/KRK Airport Services|
|Elevation AMSL||241 m / 791 ft|
John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice (Polish: Kraków Airport im. Jana Pawła II since 4 September 2007; earlier in Polish: Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków–Balice) (IATA: KRK, ICAO: EPKK) is an international airport located near Kraków, in the village of Balice, 11 km (6.8 mi) west of the city centre, in southern Poland.
The airport opened for civil aviation in 1964. The Balice airport was a military site until 28 February 1968. Four years later the first passenger terminal was built there. In 1988 the authorities decided to build a new terminal that was opened for public use in 1993. In 1995, the entire apron was modernized. In 1998 it was decided that Pope John Paul II would be the official patron of the airport. It was modernized once more in 2002, and since then new international connections have been established.
Kraków Airport is the second busiest airport in the country after Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport. The airport has good growth prospects, as almost 8 million people live within 100 km (62 mi) of it. The airport also has a favorable location on the network of existing and planned motorways in this region of Poland, but it faces stiff competition from the nearby Katowice International Airport in Pyrzowice, as well as other Polish airports.
In 1995 the airport's name was changed from Kraków–Balice Airport to John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice, to honor Pope John Paul II, who spent many years of his life in Kraków and had served as Archbishop of Kraków from 1963 until his elevation to the Papacy in 1978. For marketing reasons, the official name was further "streamlined" on 4 September 2007 as Kraków Airport im. Jana Pawła II.
In 2003, when Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair became interested in starting a service from the John Paul II International Airport, the airport authorities refused to reduce the landing fees. In response, the regional authorities of Kraków and Lesser Poland Voivodeship decided to build a new airport near the existing one, using the infrastructure of the military airbase adjacent to the shared runway. Finally an agreement was reached, and the existing airport was opened to Ryanair and other low-cost carriers such as Germanwings, EasyJet, and Centralwings.
On 1 March 2007, a separate domestic terminal (T2) was opened. Plans are underway to begin construction of a terminal expansion adjacent to the existing International Terminal (T1).
On 12 December 2012, Irish low cost carrier Ryanair announced they would be opening their second Polish base in Krakow basing two Boeing 737–800 aircraft at the airport from 31 March 2013, which allows the carrier to increase the number of the routes from Krakow to 31.
Expansion plans 
The main terminal building (T1) is currently being expanded to cater to the growth in passengers the airport has experienced in the last two years. The terminal is being extended towards the apron, with five jet ways being added and separate facilities prepared for Schengen and non-Schengen passengers.
A seven story parking garage opposite T1 became fully operational in May 2010. It is also expected that the railway line will ultimately reach the terminal building, rather than the current temporary stop 250 m (820 ft) from terminal T1.
Airlines and destinations 
|1||United Kingdom, London||340,899||easyJet, Ryanair|
|2||Poland, Warsaw||242,931||LOT Polish Airlines|
|4||Ireland, Dublin||187,687||Aer Lingus, Ryanair|
|5||France, Paris||163,400||easyJet, LOT Polish Airlines, Ryanair|
|6||Norway, Oslo||160,679||Norwegian, Ryanair|
|7||Germany, Frankfurt||143,913||LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa|
|8||United Kingdom, Liverpool||114,325||easyJet, Ryanair|
|9||United Kingdom, Edinburgh||104,783||easyJet, Ryanair|
|10||Belgium, Brussels||95,251||Brussels Airlines, Ryanair|
|12||Austria, Vienna||88,491||Austrian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines|
|13||United Kingdom, Bristol||73,862||easyJet|
|15||Sweden, Stockholm||57,207||Norwegian, Ryanair|
|17||United Kingdom, Leeds||50,397||Ryanair|
|19||United Kingdom, Belfast||44,651||easyJet|
Figures in Millions
Getting there 
In addition to road access by private car or taxi, other options are:
By train 
The "Balice Ekspres" operates between Kraków Główny (Main railway station) and the Kraków–Balice Airport railway station. It takes ca. 20 minutes to get to the city centre and costs 12 PLN. There are also small group tickets: 33 PLN for 3 persons, 44 for 4. Return ticket: 20 PLN (must be used within 30 days)
By bus 
Public buses link the airport with the main railway station in Kraków (Kraków Główny) and the central bus station (Kraków Główny RDA). Normal city tariffs apply (2 zones) thus making it by far the cheapest public transport connection to the city centre, at 4.00 PLN.
The airport has one concrete runway, number 07/25, 2,550 m × 60 m (8,366 ft × 197 ft).
On 28 August 2007, a Ryanair flight from Shannon suffered a bird strike on its final approach and blew its front tires during landing, resulting in an airport closure for a few hours and requiring an emergency evacuation of the aircraft. There were no injuries and the aircraft sustained no further damage.
- "EAD Basic". Ead.eurocontrol.int. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Na lotnisku w Krakowie powstaje wielopoziomowy parking" (in Polish). www.2012.org.pl. 2009-12-18. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
- "Enter Air Routes". Enterair.pl. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Incident: RyanAir B738 at Krakow on Aug 28th 2007, bird strike upon landing, both tires on NLG blown". Avherald.com. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
Media related to John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice at Wikimedia Commons
- Airport website (English) (Polish)
- Krakow Airport Transfers
- John Paul II International Airport, Krakow, Poland