John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice

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John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice
Międzynarodowy Port Lotniczy im. Jana Pawła II Kraków–Balice
Logo v2.png
Balice airport.JPG
Airport type Military/Public
Operator LHC/KRK Airport Services
Serves Kraków
Location Balice, Poland
Focus city for
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 (2014)
Passenger Volume 3,817,792 Increase

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[1] 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.[2]

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.[3]

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 currently being built at Kraków Airport

11 April 2013 saw the beginning of construction works of a new airport terminal, which would be adjacent to the existing old terminal building. The new terminal is planned to be finished in June 2015. The terminal will serve 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 will also be possible to handle transfer passengers irrespective of the routes (Schengen/Non-Schengen destinations). Due to works at the airport, all arrivals are handled at terminal 2 until 30 June 2015.[4]


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 Terminal
Aegean Airlines Seasonal charter: Corfu[5]
Air Berlin Berlin–Tegel 1
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino 1
Austrian Airlines Vienna 1
British Airways London–Heathrow 1
Brussels Airlines Brussels 1
easyJet Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Hamburg, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, Lyon, Paris–Charles de Gaulle 1
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse[6] 1
Enter Air Seasonal:[7] Heraklion
Seasonal charter:[8] Antalya, Enfidha, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh
Finnair Helsinki 1
Germanwings Seasonal: Stuttgart 1 Manchester (begins 28 April 2016), Newcastle Upon Tyne 1
operated by KLM Cityhopper
Amsterdam 1
LOT Polish Airlines Gdańsk (resumes 2 January 2016), Warsaw-Chopin 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 1
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Munich 1
Norwegian Air Shuttle Bergen, Copenhagen, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Trondheim 1
Ryanair Alicante, Beauvais, Bergamo, Birmingham, Bologna, Charleroi, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Eilat-Ovda (begins 7 November 2015),[9] Gdańsk, Gran Canaria (begins 6 November 2015), Girona, Leeds/Bradford, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Madrid, Malta, Manchester, Moss, Rome-Ciampino, Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tenerife-South (begins 3 November 2015)
Seasonal: Cagliari, Kos, Málaga, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Pisa, Trapani
SprintAir Bydgoszcz (ends 30 September 2015)[10] 1
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss Global Air Lines
Zürich 1
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona 1


Route statistics[edit]

Check-in area of Terminal 1
International terminal at Kraków
10 busiest routes (2014)[11]
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 116,00 Increase 11%
8 Bergamo 109,000 Decrease 1%
9 London Gatwick 108,000 Increase 2%
10 Edinburgh 107,000 Decrease 5%

Passenger numbers[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 1,973,815 (June) Increase 10%

Ground transportation[edit]

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


"Balice Ekspres" train

The "Balice Express" which operated between Kraków Główny (Main railway station) and the Kraków–Balice Airport railway station is temporarily suspended. The service is planned to resume in September 2015. It will take about 20 minutes to get to the city centre.,[12] and further 20 minutes to Wieliczka (for Salt Mine). The railway line will ultimately reach the terminal building, rather than the previous temporary stop located 250 m (820 ft) from the terminal.[13] Since February 2014 the train connection is closed due to the construction of the new station (connected to the new terminal by a footbridge), and will reopen on 1 September 2015.


Public buses link the airport during the day (lines 208, hourly, and 292, every 20 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]