Heraklion International Airport

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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]

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.

A new airport for Heraklion, located 39 km to the south-east of the city at Kasteli, is under construction and due to open by 2025.[3] Once completed, the new Kasteli International Airport will replace the current Heraklion International Airport as the hub for central Crete.


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.[4]

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 Extension[edit]

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:[5][6][7][8]

  • 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.[9][10][11]

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 destinations[edit]

Aegean Airlines Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Beirut, Bordeaux, Brest,[12] Deauville, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Larnaca, Lyon, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Munich, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv,[13] Toulouse, Zurich,[14] Yerevan
Seasonal charter: Gdańsk,[15] Kiev–Boryspil,[16] Poznań,[15] Tbilisi[17]
Aeroflot Seasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
airBaltic Seasonal charter: Riga[18]
Aircompany Armenia Seasonal: Yerevan
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Moldova Seasonal charter: Chișinău[19]
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino[20]
Arkia Seasonal: Tel Aviv
ASL Airlines France Seasonal Charter: Lyon,[21] Manchester[21]
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
Seasonal charter: Graz,[22] Linz,[22] Salzburg[22]
Aviolet Seasonal charter: Belgrade[23]
Blue Panorama Airlines Seasonal: Bergamo,[24] Bologna (begins 7 June 2020),[25] Rome–Fiumicino
BlueBird Airways Seasonal: Tel Aviv
British Airways Seasonal: London–Gatwick[26]
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels[27]
Bulgaria Air Seasonal charter: Sofia[28]
Chair Airlines Seasonal: Zürich
Condor Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld (resumes 25 June 2020),[29] Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Europe[30] 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),[31] Stuttgart, Vienna, Weeze (begins 1 July 2020), Zurich
Corendon Dutch Airlines[32] Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels, Groningen, Maastricht/Aachen, Rotterdam
Cyprus Airways Larnaca
Seasonal: Bratislava (begins 16 June 2020)[33]
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 Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Belgrade,[34] Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Katowice, Kharkiv (begins 28 May 2020),[35] Kiev–Zhuliany (begins 29 May 2020),[36] Lviv, Moscow–Vnukovo, Odessa (begins 3 June 2020),[35] Saint Petersburg (resumes 2 May 2020),[35] Warsaw–Chopin (resumes 24 May 2020)[35]
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Katowice,[37] Warsaw–Chopin,[37] Wrocław[37]
Eurowings Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Salzburg, Stuttgart
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
FlyOne Seasonal charter: Chișinău[19]
Freebird Airlines Europe Seasonal charter: Leipzig/Halle (begins 2 May 2020)[38]
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Israir Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv[39]
Jet2.com[40] Seasonal: Belfast–International, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lauda Seasonal: Düsseldorf
Lufthansa Seasonal: Frankfurt,[41] Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Neos[42] Seasonal: Bergamo, Bologna, Milan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino, Verona
NordStar Seasonal charter: Moscow–Domodedovo
Nordwind Airlines[43] Seasonal charter: Kaliningrad, Kaluga (begins 23 May 2020),[43] Kazan, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody (begins 20 May 2020),[43] Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Samara, Ufa, Voronezh, Yekaterinburg
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Ryanair Seasonal: Bergamo, Berlin–Tegel,[44] Bologna, Milan–Malpensa
Ryanair Sun Seasonal charter: Katowice,[37] Poznań,[37] Warsaw-Chopin[37]
S7 Airlines Seasonal: Moscow–Domodedovo (begins 26 April 2020)[45]
Sky Express Athens, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos[46]
Seasonal: Paros[47]
SkyUp Seasonal charter: Kharkiv (begins 2 May 2020),[48] Kiev–Boryspil,[48] Lviv (begins 1 May 2020)[48] Odessa (begins 2 June 2020),[48] Zaporizhia (begins 31 May 2020)[48]
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga[49]
SmartLynx Airlines Estonia Seasonal charter: Tallinn[49][50]
Smartwings[51] Seasonal: Brno, Katowice (resumes 26 April 2020),[52] Lille,[53] Ostrava, Prague
Smartwings Poland Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Poznań,[54] Warsaw–Chopin,[54] Wrocław[37]
Smartwings Slovakia[51] Seasonal: Bratislava, Košice
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt,[55] Hannover,[56] Leipzig/Halle,[57] Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart[55]
Sunclass Airlines Seasonal Charter: Billund,[58] Copenhagen,[58] Gothenburg,[59] Malmö,[59] Oslo–Gardermoen,[60] Stockholm–Arlanda[59]
Sundair Seasonal: Bremen, Dresden, Kassel
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva
Transavia Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels (begins 4 April 2020),[61] Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam
Transavia France Seasonal: Lyon, Montpellier (begins 3 April 2020),[62] Nantes, Paris–Orly
TUI Airways[63] 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[64]
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[65]
Volotea Athens
Seasonal: Bari, Genoa (begins 8 July 2020),[66] Lyon (begins 18 April 2020),[67] Marseille, Mykonos (begins 29 May 2020), Naples, Palermo, Thessaloniki (begins 17 April 2020),[68] Venice, Verona
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona, Rome–Fiumicino
Windrose Airlines Seasonal charter: Kiev–Boryspil[16]
Wizz Air Seasonal: Budapest, Kutaisi (begins 3 July 2020)[69]
Yakutia Airlines Seasonal charter: Moscow–Vnukovo[65]


Traffic figures[edit]

Historical annual traffic statistics[70]

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
2016 47,804 6,742,746 Increase 11.3
2017 51,114 7,336,783 Increase 8.8
2018 55,680 8,098,465 Increase 10.4
2019 (Jan-Oct) 50,053 7,667,711 Decrease 1.9

Other facilities[edit]

The airline Bluebird Airways has its head office at the airport.[71]


  • 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 also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nikos Kazantzakis". WorldAeroData. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. ^ "HERAKLION AIRPORT "N.KAZANTZAKIS"". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Kasteli Airport Deal Signed, Project Ready to Take Off". GTP Headlines. 2019-02-22. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  4. ^ "Heraklion Airport History". www.heraklion-airport.info. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Προχωρούν τα έργα στο αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου - Πότε παραδίδεται το νέο κτίριο (φωτο)".
  6. ^ "Χρ. Σπίρτζης: "Χωρίς κόστος για το δημόσιο η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου"".[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Παίρνει μπροστά η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  8. ^ "Παραχωρήθηκε η έκταση για την αναβάθμιση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου".
  9. ^ "Αυτό είναι το ... νέο αεροδρόμιο !".
  10. ^ "Εικόνες από τους νέους χώρους του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  11. ^ "Συνεχίζονται και ολοκληρώνονται οι εργασίες στο Αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου ενόψει της έναρξης της τουριστικής σεζόν".
  12. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Aegean Airlines Adds Brest Service in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  13. ^ http://www.iaa.gov.il/en-us/airports/bengurion/pages/onlineflights.aspx
  14. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Update as of 15SEP14: Aegean Airlines to Open 23 Routes in S15". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Charter flights". charterflights.r.pl. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com.
  17. ^ "ANDA Air and Aegean Airlines to increase flights in Georgia". Agenda.ge. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com.
  19. ^ a b "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com.
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  21. ^ a b http://www.aslairlines.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/180322-Destinations-vols-loisirs-ASL-Airlines-France-Saison-Ete-2018.pdf
  22. ^ a b c "Timetable". myholiday.austrian.com.
  23. ^ http://www.aviolet.rs/Data/Files/Aviolet_charter_schedule_2019_en.pdf
  24. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Blu Express Adds New Milan Bergamo – Greece Seasonal Routes Jul – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  25. ^ Liu, Jim. "Blu Express expands Greek network in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  26. ^ "British Airways Announce Summer London Gatwick – Heraklion Route. - The BA Source". www.thebasource.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  27. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "brussels airlines Adds New Destinations in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  28. ^ "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com.
  29. ^ Liu, Jim (7 January 2020). "Condor S20 Short-Haul network additions as of 06JAN20". routesonline.com.
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  31. ^ https://www.airliners.de/corendon-ziel-rostock/51799
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  33. ^ Liu, Jim. "Cyprus Airways adds new Greece – Slovakia routes in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  34. ^ "Ellinair - Ellinair Airlines -Αρχική Σελίδα - Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα -". Ellinair. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
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  36. ^ Liu, Jim (8 January 2020). "Ellinair S20 Kyiv operation changes". Routesonline.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g "Charter flights". Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Tui sends Freebird Europe to Leipzig / Halle - Airbus A320 is stationed in Schkeuditz". lvz.de. 4 October 2019.
  39. ^ http://www.iaa.gov.il/he-IL/airports/BenGurion/Pages/OnlineFlights.aspx?mode=out
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  41. ^ 2018, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Lufthansa S19 European network additions".
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  43. ^ a b c "Flight Search". pegasys.pegast.ru.
  44. ^ "Ryanair to swap German bases with LaudaMotion". ch-aviation.com. 20 October 2018.
  45. ^ Liu, Jim (11 November 2019). "S7 Airlines adds Moscow – Irakleion service in S20". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
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  52. ^ Liu, Jim (2 October 2019). "Travel Service S20 Poland network adjustment as of 27SEP19". routesonline.com.
  53. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings adds various French routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
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  55. ^ a b 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S17 new routes as of 23MAR17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
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  58. ^ a b "Flight". spies.dk.
  59. ^ a b c "Flight". ving.se.
  60. ^ "Flight". ving.no.
  61. ^ Liu, Jim (4 December 2019). "Transavia launches Brussels base in S20". routesonline.com.
  62. ^ Liu, Jim. "Transavia France launches Montpellier base in April 2020". Routesonline. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  63. ^ "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk.
  64. ^ {{cite web |url=https://www.tuiholidays.ie/flight/timetable%7Ctitle=Flight Timetable|publisher=tuiholidays.ie}
  65. ^ a b "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com.
  66. ^ Liu, Jim. "Volotea S20 network additions as of 10OCT19". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  67. ^ https://www.volotea.com/en/flight-offers/lyon/heraklion-crete/?departureDate=2020-04-18&returnDate=2020-04-25&adults=1&childs=0&infants=0&jorney=oneway
  68. ^ https://www.voria.gr/article/i-volotea-archizi-ptisis-apo-thessaloniki-gia-dio-proorismous
  69. ^ Liu, Jim (17 July 2019). "Wizz Air boosts Kutaisi network from Sep 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  70. ^ "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994–2014" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  71. ^ "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 links[edit]

Media related to Heraklion International Airport at Wikimedia Commons