John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice

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Saint John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Sw. Jana Pawła II Kraków–Balice
Kraków Airport logo.png
Kraków Airport October 2015.JPG
Airport type Military/Public
Operator LHC/KRK Airport Services
Serves Kraków
Location Balice, Poland
Focus city for Ryanair
Elevation AMSL 241 m / 791 ft
Coordinates 50°04′40″N 019°47′05″E / 50.07778°N 19.78472°E / 50.07778; 19.78472Coordinates: 50°04′40″N 019°47′05″E / 50.07778°N 19.78472°E / 50.07778; 19.78472
EPKK is located in Poland
Location in Poland
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,550 8,366 Concrete
07L/25R (emergency) 2,550 8,366 Grass
Statistics (2015)
Passenger Volume 4,221,171[1] Increase 11%

Saint 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: KRKICAO: EPKK) is an international airport located near Kraków, in the village of Balice, 11 km (6.8 mi) west[2] of the city centre, in southern Poland.


Early years[edit]

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 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.

Development since the 2000s[edit]

The airport was modernized once more in 2002, and since then new international connections have been established.

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. At that time, plans were underway to begin construction of a new terminal.

A seven story parking garage opposite T1 became fully operational in May 2010.[3]

On 12 December 2012, Irish low cost carrier Ryanair announced they would be opening their second Polish base in Kraków 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 Kraków to 31. As of September 2013, a new hotel is being built in the nearest area of the airport terminal.[4]

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.



Visual of new terminal partially opened on September 28, 2015.

11 April 2013 saw the beginning of construction works of a new airport terminal, which is adjacent to the existing old terminal building. The new terminal was finished in September 2015. The terminal serves all-year-round, 24 hours a day, both domestic as well as international flights. The expected maximum capacity of the terminal is up to 8 million passengers handled in a year (over twice as much as the airport served in 2012). It is also possible to handle transfer passengers irrespective of the routes (Schengen/Non-Schengen destinations). The old terminal is being reconstructed as of September 2015 and after the completion of the works it will serve as one big terminal together with the new building.


The airport has one concrete runway, number 07/25, 2,550 m × 60 m (8,366 ft × 197 ft).

Apart from the main terminal building, other elements of the airport infrastructure are planned to be built or rebuilt, such as a new luggage handling system or a roofed footbridge connecting the terminal building to a new hotel (opened November 2014), multi-level parking lot and the rail station, with direct railway link to Kraków Główny by Koleje Małopolskie from September 2015.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Seasonal: Athens
Seasonal charter: Corfu
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
Austrian Airlines Vienna
British Airways London–Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
easyJet Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, Lyon, Manchester (begins 1 November 2016), Milan–Malpensa, Naples (begins 2 November 2016), Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Venice-Marco Polo (begins 1 November 2016)
easyJet Switzerland Geneva (begins 1 November 2016),[5] Basel/Mulhouse
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Antalya, Enfidha, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh
Eurowings Düsseldorf (begins 26 March 2017)
Seasonal: Stuttgart
Finnair Helsinki
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Israir Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne
operated by KLM Cityhopper
LOT Polish Airlines Gdańsk, Warsaw–Chopin
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Norwegian Air Shuttle Bergen, Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Trondheim
Ryanair Alicante, Beauvais, Belfast-International (begins 30 October 2016),[6] Bergamo, Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth (begins 31 October 2016), Bristol, Charleroi, Cagliari, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Gdańsk, Gran Canaria, Girona, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Lourdes (begins 26 March 2017), Madrid, Málaga, Malta, Manchester, Moss/Rygge (ends 30 October 2016), Pescara (begins 27 March 2017), Porto (begins 27 March 2017), Rome-Ciampino, Sandefjord (begins 1 November 2016), Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tenerife-South, Treviso (begins 29 March 2017),
Seasonal: Chania (begins 1 April 2017), Eilat-Ovda, Kos, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Pisa, Trapani
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda (begins 26 March 2017)
SprintAir Olsztyn-Mazury
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss Global Air Lines
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona


Top destinations[edit]

International terminal at Kraków during Christmas before its refurbishment
10 busiest routes (2014)[7]
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change
1 Warsaw Chopin 274,000 Increase 12%
2 London Stansted 255,000 Increase 5%
3 Frankfurt 244,000 Increase 17%
4 Munich 207,000 Increase 5%
5 Dublin 132,000 Increase 10%
6 Berlin Tegel 127,000 Decrease 3%
7 Oslo Rygge 116,000 Increase 11%
8 Bergamo 109,000 Decrease 1%
9 London Gatwick 108,000 Increase 2%
10 Edinburgh 107,000 Decrease 5%

Annual traffic[edit]

Year Passenger Count Percent Change
2003 593,214
2004 841,123 Increase 42%
2005 1,586,130 Increase 89%
2006 2,367,257 Increase 49%
2007 3,068,199 Increase 30%
2008 2,923,961 Decrease 5%
2009 2,680,322 Decrease 8%
2010 2,863,996 Increase 7%
2011 3,014,060 Increase 5%
2012 3,439,758 Increase 14%
2013 3,647,616 Increase 6%
2014 3,817,792 Increase 5%
2015 4,221,171 Increase 11%
2016 AUGUST[8] 3 296 021 Increase 17%

Ground transportation[edit]

In addition to road access by private car or taxi, other options are:


Train at "Krakow Lotnisko" station

The "Balice Express" which operated between Wieliczka, Kraków Główny (Main railway station) and the Kraków–Balice Airport railway station was temporarily suspended. The service resumed in September 2015. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the city centre.,[9] and further 20 minutes to Wieliczka (for Salt Mine). The railway line ultimately reaches the terminal building, rather than the previous temporary stop located 250 m (820 ft) from the terminal.[10] In February 2014 the train connection was closed due to the construction of the new station (connected to the new terminal by a footbridge) but reopened on 29 September 2015.


Public buses link the airport during the day (lines 208, hourly, and 252, every 30 minutes) and during the night (line 902) 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. Public buses can be used after purchasing tickets from a ticket machine located at the bus stop (with cash or credit card) or from ticket machines that can be found in some of the buses (with coins only). All tickets have to be validated after getting on a bus. It is also possible to use private-owned bus and minibus services connecting the airport with the city center or other cities in Poland. Tickets require bookings in advance.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to John Paul II Airport in Balice-Kraków at Wikimedia Commons