Heraklion International Airport

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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
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 (2016)
Passengers 6,865,681
Passenger traffic change Increase 13.3%
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: HERICAO: 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. 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.

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[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Bordeaux, Brest,[4] Deauville, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Larnaca, Lyon, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Saint Petersburg, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Toulouse, Zürich[5]
Seasonal charter: Iași, Tbilisi,[6] Yerevan,Leipzig/Halle Airport,Frankfurt Airport.,
Aeroflot Seasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Air Moldova Seasonal charter: Chișinău
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino[7]
Armenia Aircompany Seasonal Charter: Yerevan
ASL Airlines France Seasonal Charter:Manchester
Astra Airlines Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Dresden, Munich
operated by Air Serbia
Seasonal charter: Belgrade
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
operated by Blue Panorama Airlines
Seasonal: Bergamo,[8] Rome–Fiumicino
BlueBird Airways Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
British Airways Seasonal: London–Gatwick[9]
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels[10]
Cobalt Air Larnaca
Condor Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn (begins 2 May 2018),[11] Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Manchester, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel (begins 7 May 2018), Düsseldorf (begins 5 May 2018), Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (begins 18 May 2018), Nuremberg (begins 8 May 2018), Paderborn/Lippstadt (begins 7 May 2018)[12]
Corendon Airlines Europe Seasonal: Linz (begins 19 May 2018), Vienna (begins 11 May 2018)[13]
Corendon Dutch Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels, Groningen, Maastricht/Aachen, Rotterdam (begins 19 April 2018)[14]
Cyprus Airways Seasonal: Larnaca
easyJet Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Bordeaux (begins 27 June 2018), Bristol, Edinburgh, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
easyJet Switzerland Seasonal: Geneva
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Ellinair Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Belgrade,[15] Berlin–Tegel, Bucharest, Katowice, Kiev–Boryspil, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Munich, Santorini, Saint Petersburg, Tbilisi ,[15] Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal charter: Mineralnye Vody,[16] Samara, Riga
Enter Air Seasonal Charter:London-Gatwick
Eurowings Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg, Hannover
operated by Eurowings Europe
Seasonal: Graz (begins 4 May 2018),[17] Salzburg (begins 4 May 2018) [18]
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
Germania Seasonal: Berlin Schönefeld (begins 2 May 2018), Berlin-Tegel (begins 2 May 2018)[19] Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Friedrichshafen, Münster/Osnabrück, Rostock
Germania Flug Seasonal: Zürich
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Copenhagen
Jet2.com Seasonal: Birmingham,[20] East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted,[21] Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lufthansa Seasonal: Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Meridiana Seasonal: Bergamo,[22]
Seasonal charter: Verona
Mistral Air Seasonal: Naples
Neos Seasonal: Milan–Malpensa
Seasonal charter: Bergamo
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Olympic Air
operated by Aegean Airlines
Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Rhodes
Sky Express Athens, Kos, Rhodes
Seasonal: Paros [23]
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal Charter:Graz
Small Planet Airlines Poland Seasonal: Lublin [24] Poznań[25]
Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw–Chopin
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga
operated by Travel Service
Seasonal: Brno, Budapest, Debrecen,[26] Lille,[27] Ostrava, Pardubice (begins 6 June 2018),[28] Prague
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt,[29] Hannover,[30] Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart[29]
Sun D'Or
operated by El Al
Seasonal: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva
TAROM Seasonal charter: Bucharest
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, East Mindlands, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Transavia Seasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen (begins 22 April 2018), Rotterdam (begins 6 April 2018)
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, Košice
TUI Airways Seasonal: Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal charter: Dublin
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels, Charleroi, Strasbourg (begins 18 June 2018),
Seasonal charter: Liège, Lille, Ostend/Bruges
TUI fly Deutschland Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken, Vienna
TUI fly Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam, Rotterdam (begins 22 April 2018)
UTair Seasonal: Moscow-Vnukovo[31]
Volotea Seasonal: Bari, Marseille (begins 21 April 2018), Naples, Palermo, Venice, Verona (begins 28 June 2018)
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona, Catania,[32] Rome–Fiumicino
Windrose Airlines Seasonal: Kiev-Boryspil
Windrose Airlines
operated by Dniproavia
Seasonal charter: Dnipro
Wizz Air Seasonal: Budapest


Busiest routes[edit]

Busiest European routes from Heraklion Airport per week[citation needed]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Summer 2016 Top carriers
1 United Kingdom London LGW, LTN, STN 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[edit]

Annual traffic statistics – 16-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
2016 47,804 6,865,681 Increase +13.3
2017* 42,551 6,403,477 Increase +9.7

*2017 data is for January - September only

Other facilities[edit]

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


  • 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. ^ "Heraklion Airport History". www.heraklion-airport.info. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  4. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Aegean Airlines Adds Brest Service in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  5. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Update as of 15SEP14: Aegean Airlines to Open 23 Routes in S15". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "ANDA Air and Aegean Airlines to increase flights in Georgia". Agenda.ge. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017. 
  7. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Alitalia Adds New Seasonal Service June – August 2014". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  8. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Blu Express Adds New Milan Bergamo – Greece Seasonal Routes Jul – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "British Airways Announce Summer London Gatwick – Heraklion Route. - The BA Source". www.thebasource.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  10. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "brussels airlines Adds New Destinations in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  11. ^ https://www.condor.com/eu/book-plan/flight/timetable.jsp
  12. ^ http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/ticket-heraklion
  13. ^ http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/ticket-heraklion
  14. ^ http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/ticket-heraklion
  15. ^ a b "Ellinair - Ellinair Airlines -Αρχική Σελίδα - Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα -". Ellinair. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "Tour operator Mouzenidis Travel". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  17. ^ Eurowings begin new seasonal service to Heraklion
  18. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/274902/eurowings-s18-new-short-haul-routes-as-of-21sep17/
  19. ^ https://www.flygermania.com/en-gb/
  20. ^ "Jet2.com Adds Birmingham Routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Flight Timetables - Jet2.com". www.jet2.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  22. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Meridiana schedules additional new seasonal routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  23. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/273254/sky-express-new-domestic-routes-addition-in-s17/
  24. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Small Planet expands Lublin service in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  25. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Small Planet schedules Poznan – Irakleion route in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  26. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings Plans Hungary Operations June – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  27. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings adds various French routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  28. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/276020/smartwings-adds-new-greek-routes-from-pardubice-in-s18/
  29. ^ a b 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S17 new routes as of 23MAR17". Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  30. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S15 Planned New Routes". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  31. ^ Liu, Jim (26 May 2017 Insert current date). "UTair adds Irakleion service from June 2017". Routesonline. Retrieved 26 May 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  32. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2016-07-23. 
  33. ^ "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994–2014" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  34. ^ "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