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
Kraków Airport logo.png
John Paul II Airport in Balice-Kraków night november 2017(3).jpg
Airport type Military/Public
Operator LHC/KRK Airport Services
Serves Kraków
Location Balice, Poland
Hub for LOT Polish Airlines
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 Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Location in Lesser Poland Voivodeship
EPKK is located in Poland
EPKK (Poland)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,550 8,366 Concrete
07L/25R (emergency) 2,550 8,366 Grass
Statistics (2017)
Passenger volume 5,835,189[1] Increase 17%
Aircraft movements 46,264 Increase 10%

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[2] of the city centre, in southern Poland. It is the second busiest airport of the country in terms of the volume of passengers served annually.


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 near the airport terminal.[4]

Kraków Airport is the second busiest airport in the country after Warsaw 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.



11 April 2013 saw the beginning of construction works of a new airport terminal, which is adjacent to the existing old terminal building. The works on the new terminal were completed in December 2016. 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 terminal has a new luggage handling system and a roofed footbridge connecting the terminal to a hotel, a multi-level parking lot and the railway station, with direct railway link to Kraków Główny by Koleje Małopolskie.


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

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Seasonal: Athens
Seasonal charter: Corfu
Austrian Airlines Vienna
British Airways London–Heathrow
Brussels Airlines Brussels
easyJet Belfast–International, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London–Gatwick, Lyon, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa, Naples, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Venice
easyJet Switzerland Geneva,[5] Basel/Mulhouse
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Antalya, Enfidha, Gran Canaria
Eurowings Düsseldorf
Seasonal: Stuttgart
Finnair Helsinki
Flydubai Dubai-International[6]
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid Birmingham, Leeds/Bradford (begins 9 November 2018), Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne
KLM Amsterdam
Laudamotion Vienna (begins 30 October 2018)
LOT Polish Airlines Budapest,[7] Chicago-O'Hare,[8] Gdańsk, Warsaw–Chopin
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Norwegian Air Shuttle Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki,[9] Oslo–Gardermoen, Stavanger, Stockholm–Arlanda, Trondheim
Ryanair Alicante, Amman–Queen Alia (begins 29 October 2018), Athens, Barcelona, Beauvais, Belfast-International, Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld,[10] Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth, Bristol, Charleroi, Cagliari, Dortmund, Dublin, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Frankfurt,[11] Gdańsk, Glasgow,[10] Gothenburg, Gran Canaria, Girona, Kiev-Boryspil (begins 31 October 2018), Lamezia Terme, Leeds/Bradford, Lisbon, Liverpool, London-Stansted, Tarbes-Lourdes, Lviv (begins 30 October 2018), Madrid, Málaga, Malmö,[10] Malta, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, Naples, Nuremberg,[10], Paphos, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Rome-Ciampino, Sandefjord, Seville,[10] Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion,[10] Tenerife-South, Treviso, Valencia
Seasonal: Burgas, Chania, Eilat-Ovda, Palma de Mallorca, Pescara
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Sun d'Or Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich
Transavia Eindhoven (begins 9 October 2018)
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev–Boryspil[12]
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona
Yanair Seasonal: Odessa [13][14]


Top destinations[edit]

Interior of the main terminal
10 busiest routes (2014)[15]
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 4,983,645 Increase 18%
2017 5,835,189 Increase 17%
2018 440,657 (JAN) Increase 20%

It was the 82nd busiest airport in Europe in 2017.

Ground transportation[edit]

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


Train at "Krakow Lotnisko" station

The SKA1 suburban line operates from the Airport to Kraków Główny (Main railway station) and further to Wieliczka. The service resumed in September 2015. It takes about 17 minutes to get to the city centre,[16] 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.[17] The price to the city is 9 PLN. Tickets can be bought from ticket machines (located in the arrival hall, on the platform, or - sometimes - in the train) or from the staff onboard (cash only).


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 railway station) 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 PLN (without transfers) or 5 PLN (allowing for bus/tram transfers within 60 min from boarding). Public buses can be used after purchasing tickets from a ticket machine located in the arrival hall, at the bus stop (with cash or credit card) or from ticket machines that can be found in most buses (sometimes 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]


  1. ^ "Wysokie loty krakowskiego lotniska". 
  2. ^ "EAD Basic". Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  3. ^ "Na lotnisku w Krakowie powstaje wielopoziomowy parking" (in Polish). 2009-12-18. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2011-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Developing and restructuring the existing passenger terminal". Krakow Airport. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  5. ^ " Cztery nowe trasy easyJet z Krakowa". Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "LOT resumes Krakow - Chicago service from July 2017". Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  9. ^ Norwegian opens the route from Helsinki to Krakow - more flights to Malaga, Alicante and Rhodes (in Finnish) 26 January 2018. Retrieved 26 January 2018
  10. ^ a b c d e f 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Ryanair W17 new routes as of 05MAR17". Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  11. ^ "Official Ryanair website - Book direct for the lowest fares -". Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "МАУ полетит из Киева в Краков с 26 декабря" (Press release). Retrieved 12 February 2018. 
  13. ^ "Yanair начала продажи билетов на новый прямой рейс Одесса-Краков" (Press release). Retrieved 12 February 2018. 
  14. ^ Liu, Jim (21 April 2018). "YanAir adds Krakow link from May 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  15. ^ "Destynacje". 
  16. ^ "By train". Krakow Airport. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  17. ^ "Train station". Krakow Airport. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 

External links[edit]

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