Thessaloniki Airport

Coordinates: 40°31′11″N 22°58′15.3″E / 40.51972°N 22.970917°E / 40.51972; 22.970917
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia"

Αεροδρόμιο Θεσσαλονίκης «Μακεδονία»[1][2]
Airport typePublic / Military
OwnerGovernment of Greece[3]
OperatorFraport Greece
LocationThermi, Greece
Opened1948 (for public)
Hub for
Operating base forRyanair
Time zoneEastern European Time (UTC+02:00)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+03:00)
Elevation AMSL6.83 m / 22 ft
Coordinates40°31′11″N 22°58′15.3″E / 40.51972°N 22.970917°E / 40.51972; 22.970917
Map of the airport
Map of the airport
SKG is located in Greece
Location of the airport in Greece
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 3,440 11,286 Asphalt
16/34 2,424 7,953 Asphalt
Statistics (2023)
Passenger traffic changeIncrease 18.7%
Aircraft movements54,658
Aircraft movements changeIncrease 11.5%
Sources: Greek AIP[4][5][6]
Statistics: Fraport Greece[7]

Thessaloniki Airport (IATA: SKG, ICAO: LGTS), officially Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia"[8] (Greek: Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Θεσσαλονίκης «Μακεδονία», romanizedKratikós Aeroliménas Thessaloníkis "Makedonía")[9] and formerly Mikra Airport, is an international airport serving Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece. It is located 13 km (8 mi) southeast of the city, in Thermi.[4]

The airport is the third-largest airport in the country after Athens International Airport and Heraklion International Airport. It opened in 1930 and was the second-busiest airport in Greece in terms of flights served and the third-busiest in terms of passengers served in 2016, with over 6 million passengers. It is the main airport of Northern Greece and apart from the city of Thessaloniki it also serves the popular tourist destination of Chalkidiki and the surrounding cities of Macedonia. The Athens–Thessaloniki route is the tenth busiest in the EU with 1.8 million passengers.[10] To cope with demand, a second terminal was constructed in conjunction with Fraport and formally opened in 2021.[11]


The airport was first established as an airfield during the First World War, as part of the allied war effort on the Macedonian front.[12] There were numerous airfields at the time, including Little Mikra, Big Mikra (which became the current international airport), and the major military airfield of Sedes.[12] The first international flight to Thessaloniki landed at the Little Mikra air field, and government efforts at encouraging the growth of civil aviation saw the start of construction of a purpose-built civilian airport at the present location in 1938.[12] Works were temporarily abandoned due to the Second World War and the airport opened to civilian traffic in 1948.[12]

Major works were undertaken after the war. The accession of Greece to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation saw NATO-funded investments such as the expansion of the 10/28 runway to 2,440 metres (8,010 ft) and the inauguration of a new terminal building in 1965.[12] Damage to the tower caused by the 1978 Thessaloniki earthquake meant it needed to be torn down, and a new tower, still in operation, was built.[12] Modernisation works were undertaken in the late 1990s, as part of the celebrations for Thessaloniki being European Capital of Culture in 1997.[12] In 1993 the airport took the name Makedonia (Greek: Μακεδονία, Macedonia).[12]

The operational aspects of the airport were privatised in 2015. Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture and the state privatisation fund agreed to the privatisation of the airport operations, and 13 other Greek airports, in December 2015.[13] Fraport Greece will operate the airport for 40 years starting on 11 April 2017.[14] It pledged to invest €400 million ($451.88 million) on the various airports, including a refurbishment of the existing facilities at Thessaloniki as well as the construction of a second terminal.[15] Construction on the new terminal began on 19 September 2018[16] and finished in February 2021, three months ahead of schedule.[17] Refurbishment works other than the terminal included the installation of an upgraded baggage handling system, the construction of three additional baggage reclaim belts, the connection of the wastewater treatment plant to the municipal service, the construction of a new airport fire station, and the construction of two new access control gatehouses to the previously unguarded apron.[18] Fraport expects passenger traffic to increase by 48% by 2026 as a result of its investment.[12]


Aerial view of the airport in 2011, showing the progress of construction of the runway expansion


The airport consists of two terminals arranged in a T-shape, with the main access road on one side and the tarmac on the other, while the control tower is located in the junction between the two terminals. Four parking lots are located directly in front of the Terminal 1 building: the P4 lot is reserved for short term (visitor) parking and lots P6, P7 and P8 are used for long term (traveler) parking. P5, located on the left of the T1 building, serves taxi cabs and tourist buses.[19]


The airport's original terminal (T1)
The new additional terminal (T2)

The airport's original terminal (T1) consists of three floors. The ground floor serves arrivals only and is divided into two sections: international/extra-Schengen arrivals and domestic/intra-Schengen arrivals. The second floor serves departures and also includes a shopping center. On this floor there are 16 check-in counters, waiting areas, bars, stores and various airlines' offices. The third floor houses two restaurants and several bars with views to the runways, as well as two passenger lounges. T1 houses twelve departure gates (numbered 13-24) : gates 13 and 14 are for domestic or intra-Schengen flights, gates 15-18 are used interchangeably for either domestic, intra-Schengen or extra-Schengen flights, and gates 19-24 are reserved exclusively for extra-Schengen international flights.

An additional terminal (T2) was opened in the beginning of 2021.[20] It includes an additional 28 check in counters (bringing the airport total to 44), and twelve departure gates (numbered 01-12) for international (intra-Schengen) and domestic flights. This terminal also includes several additional duty-free shops, traditional souvenir and jewelry shops, and auxiliary airline offices.

In both terminals, passengers can use the "Fraport-free" free Wi-Fi [21] and public mobile phone charging ports,[22] as well as luggage carrying trolleys, and receive information from two National Tourism Organization offices. There are also ATM machines, postal service [23] and car rental offices [24] in the departure sections of both terminals.

There are four passenger waiting areas:

  • Aegean Passenger Lounge, reserved exclusively for Aegean Airlines passengers as well as Star Alliance Golden Members
  • Manolis Andronicos Skyserv Lounge
  • The Global Lounge Network
  • Goldair Handling Lounge (under construction)

Runways and apron[edit]

The airport has two runways (10/28 and 16/34) and two taxiways. There are 22 stands for narrow-body aircraft and 20 for light aircraft.

A modernisation and expansion project for runway 10/28 began in 2005, with an initial completion date of 2011, but has since been delayed[20] and was finally completed in March 2019.[25] The runway entered service on 11 September 2020.[26] Overall, the project took almost a quarter century to build, from inception in 1997, and it had an estimated cost of €179 million ($202 million).[27] The runway was extended by 1000 meters into the sea, with a total length of 3440 meters and was equipped with ILS.[25] When the runway opened for commercial use it was able to accommodate 89.6% of current commercial aircraft types, as opposed to just 22.6% before the extension,[27] and improved safety while landing in bad weather conditions and low visibility.[25]

Fire station[edit]

The airport is served by Thessaloniki Fire Station No 5, whose facility is located in the junction between runways 10/28 and 16/34.[28][18]

Other facilities[edit]

The Thessaloniki AeroClub recreational flying club maintains a hangar next to the T2 building which is used by its more experienced pilots (the club's actual hangar facilities are on the Kolchiko airport). The Aeolus pilot academy also operates on the airport.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Thessaloniki Airport:

Aegean Airlines Amsterdam (begins 28 October 2024),[29] Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Chania,[30] Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Heraklion,[30] Kos,[30] Larnaca, Milan–Malpensa, Munich, Mytilene,[30] Rhodes,[30] Rome–Fiumicino, Stuttgart, Zürich
Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn,[31] Hanover, Mykonos (begins 28 April 2024),[32] Naxos (begins 1 June 2024),[33] Nuremberg, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Paros (begins 30 April 2024),[32] Santorini (begins 29 April 2024),[32] Tbilisi,[34] Tel Aviv,[35] Venice,[36] Yerevan[31]
Air France Seasonal: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Serbia Belgrade
Seasonal: Kraljevo[37]
airBaltic Seasonal: Riga
Austrian Airlines Vienna
British Airways Seasonal: London–City, London–Gatwick, London–Heathrow
Cyprus Airways Seasonal: Larnaca
easyJet London–Gatwick
Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin, Manchester
El Al Tel Aviv (resumes 5 May 2024)[38]
Eurowings Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart
Seasonal: Dortmund, Hamburg, Hanover, Salzburg
FlyOne Chișinău (begins 19 June 2024)[39]
Georgian Airways Seasonal: Tbilisi[40] Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Oslo,[41] Stockholm–Arlanda
Olympic Air Chios, Ikaria,[42] Kalamata,[43] Lemnos,[42] Samos
Ryanair Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin, Bratislava, Bucharest–Otopeni, Budapest, Chania, Charleroi, Dortmund, Helsinki, Kraków, London–Stansted, Malta, Memmingen, Nuremberg, Paphos, Poznań, Rhodes, Rome–Ciampino, Stockholm–Arlanda, Treviso, Vienna, Weeze
Seasonal: Bologna, Copenhagen, Corfu,[44] Dublin, Eindhoven, Hahn, Heraklion, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden,[45] Naples, Sarajevo (begins 3 July 2024),[46] Warsaw–Modlin,[47] Zagreb
Scandinavian Airlines Stockholm–Arlanda
Seasonal: Copenhagen
Sky Express Athens, Chios, Heraklion, Larnaca, Mytilene, Samos, Skyros[42]
Seasonal: Mykonos, Paros
Smartwings Seasonal: Prague
Seasonal charter: Brno, Katowice (begins 25 May 2024),[48] Linz [49] Salzburg (begins 16 April 2024),[50] Vienna [51]
Sun d'Or Seasonal: Tel Aviv[52]
Sundair Seasonal: Bremen[53]
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich
Seasonal: Geneva[citation needed]
TAROM Bucharest–Otopeni
Transavia Amsterdam, Brussels (begins 29 June 2024)[54]
Seasonal: Paris–Orly
TUI Airways Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, London–Gatwick, Manchester
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels[55]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul
Volotea Seasonal: Santorini
Wizz Air Bucharest–Otopeni,[56] Budapest, Kutaisi, Larnaca



Between 1994 and 2010, Thessaloniki Airport saw a rise in passenger traffic equal to 76%, from 2.2 million in 1994 to 3.9 million in 2010.[8] Between 2003 and 2008 the airport saw a passenger traffic increase of 19.1% from 3.5 million to almost 4.2 million passengers, an all-time high. The number of passengers dropped in next years. However, over the last two years the airport experienced passenger traffic increase to just above four million by 2013. Significant traffic increase took place during 2014, with the total number of passengers exceeding the five million mark for the first time.[8]

Annual statistics[edit]

Annual passenger traffic at SKG airport. See Wikidata query.
Passenger, aircraft movement at "Makedonia" airport: 1994–2022[8]
Year Passenger
% change
% change
1994 2,227,487 n/a Steady 29,990 n/a Steady
1995 2,336,219 4.8 Increase 30,827 2.7 Increase
1996 2,499,892 7 Increase 33,850 9.8 Increase
1997 2,797,166 11.8 Increase 39,766 17.4 Increase
1998 2,667,075 4.6 Decrease 39,473 n/a Steady
1999 3,186,721 19.4 Increase 47,589 n/a Steady
2000 3,548,027 11.3 Increase 49,007 n/a Steady
2001 3,430,819 3.3 Decrease 42,982 n/a Steady
2002 3,257,436 5 Decrease 39,550 n/a Steady
2003 3,500,922 7.4 Increase 48,310 n/a Steady
2004 3,620,909 3.4 Increase 50,608 n/a Steady
2005 3,670,581 3.6 Increase 47,186 n/a Steady
2006 3,802,854 5.6 Increase 47,380 n/a Steady
2007 4,167,969 9.7 Increase 50,244 n/a Steady
2008 4,169,559 0.4 Increase 47,882 n/a Steady
2009 4,104,195 1.5 Decrease 50,238 n/a Steady
2010 3,910,751 4.7 Decrease 44,938 n/a Steady
2011 3,958,475 1.2 Increase 43,430 3.3 Decrease
2012 4,006,204 1.2 Increase 43,006 0.9 Decrease
2013 4,039,576 0.8 Increase 39,500 8.6 Decrease
2014 4,950,726 22.5 Increase 45,900 16.2 Increase
2015 5,341,293 7.8 Increase 47,340 3.1 Increase
2016 5,735,581 7.3 Increase 48,710 2.8 Increase
2017 6,247,514 8.9 Increase 54,931 12.7 Increase
2018 6,689,193 7 Increase 55,307 0.6 Increase
2019 6,897,057 3,1 Increase 55,738 0.9 Increase
2020 2,317,336 66.4 Decrease 24,966 55.2 Decrease
2021 3,449,658 48.9 Increase 37,224 49.1 Increase
2022 5,923,175 71.7 Increase 49,019 31.7 Increase
2023 7,029,957 18.7 Increase 54,658 11.5 Increase
2024(Feb) 793.765 9,5 Increase 6.397 10,4 Increase

Busiest passenger routes by country[edit]

The table below shows passenger totals at Thessaloniki International Airport by country destination during 2022.[57]

Passenger traffic per country destination (2022)
Rank Country destination Passengers Change %
GR Domestic 1,925,317 54.6 Increase
1 Germany 1,343,535 58.3 Increase
2 United Kingdom 520,209 195.4 Increase
3 Cyprus 358,444 71.2 Increase
4 Italy 302,031 173.1 Increase
5 Austria 176,128 59.2 Increase
6 Israel 145,785 258.9 Increase
7 Netherlands 145,640 79.4 Increase
8 France 132,137 90.0 Increase
9 Poland 110,213 73.3 Increase
10 Belgium 94,097 46.8 Increase

Top airlines[edit]

Monthly one-way capacity for 2016[58]
Rank Airline Passengers Change
1 Greece Aegean Airlines 105,348 Decrease8.8%
2 Republic of Ireland Ryanair 75,789 Decrease9.3%
3 United Kingdom Easyjet 15,888 Decrease1.8%
4 Greece Ellinair 15,408 Decrease51%
5 Germany Germanwings 11,760 Increase13.5%
6 Germany Air Berlin 10,578 Decrease51%
7 Greece Olympic Air (NEW) 10,062 N/A
8 Turkey Turkish Airlines 9,060 Increase4.9%
9 Serbia Air Serbia 5,820 Decrease2.1%
10 Netherlands Transavia 5,670 Increase0.7%
11 Greece Astra Airlines 5,284 Decrease54.3%
12 Austria Austrian Airlines 5,220 Increase26.3%


KTEL–Makedonia Airport
Thessaloniki Bus Station (KTEL)
New railway station Hellenic Railways Organisation Proastiakos Thessaloniki Line Π1 Proastiakos Thessaloniki Line Π2
(N. Sid. Stathmos Line 1 (Thessaloniki Metro) Line 2 (Thessaloniki Metro))
Aristotelous Square
Agia Fotini/University of Macedonia
University of Macedonia
(Panepistimio Line 1 (Thessaloniki Metro) Line 2 (Thessaloniki Metro))
Dimarhiako Megaro
Laografiko Mousio
Megaro Mousikis/25 Martiou
25 Martiou
Periferiaki Enotita Thessalonikis
Makedonia Airport Departures Macedonia Airport
Makedonia Airport Arrivals Macedonia Airport

The airport is directly connected with the city's major road arteries in the southeast, the EO16 and the A25, which connects Thessaloniki with Chalkidiki, via the ΕΟ67. The Thessaloniki Inner Ring Road provides access to the A1/E75 and A2/E90 motorways. A total of 2,285 parking spaces for cars exist at the front of the terminal building. A car rental service is available at the terminal building. In addition, taxi services are available outside the airport terminal building 24 hours a day.[59]

Public transport[edit]

There are plans to connect the airport with the Thessaloniki Metro network, which is set to open in 2023 after delays. Attiko Metro, the company overseeing the project, has published a map of proposed extensions, and it includes an overground extension of Line 2 towards the airport.[60] This extension is not an immediate concern for the company, however, since the terminus of Line 2, Mikra, will be connected with the airport by a 10-minute shuttle bus.[61] Detailed planning of the metro extension toward the airport was initiated in March 2019.[62]

In the meantime, the airport is served on a 24-hour basis by bus 01X/01N of the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH), which provides bus services between the Thessaloniki Bus Station (KTEL) and Makedonia airport arrivals/departures.[63]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

HA-LCR next to the airport fire station, in April 2018
  • On 31 August 1995, a Mali Air Force Antonov An-26 after an attempted go-around crashed into a mountain 2.5 miles from SKG during an ILS approach to the airport in poor weather. All 6 occupants were killed.[64]
  • On 12 August 1997, Olympic Airways Flight 171, a Boeing 727-230 registered as SX-CBI inbound from Athens Ellinikon Airport, touched down late and was steered off the runway to avoid overrunning into the sea. None of the 35 passengers and crew were killed, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.[65]
  • On 17 December 1997, Aerosvit Flight 241, a Yakovlev Yak-42, operating the route from Odesa, Ukraine to Thessaloniki, lost contact with the airport's air traffic control and during the second attempt the aircraft crashed in the Pierian Mountains, near Mount Olympus. A total of 70 people, passengers and crew, 41 of which were Greeks, were killed.
  • On 4 July 2000, HA-LCR, a chartered Malév Flight 262 Tupolev Tu-154 landed on its belly. The crew had forgotten to lower the undercarriage and the plane skidded 400 m (1,300 ft) on the runway. Thanks to the plane's robust construction and the engines' high position, the plane was able to become airborne again as the pilots applied full throttle. It circled while the crew lowered the undercarriage and landed safely. There were no injuries. It was considered uneconomical to repair the aircraft. The aircraft still remains on site,[66] although airline markings have been obscured and it has been heavily depleted of re-usable spares.
  • On 15 June 2013, an AMC Airlines Boeing 737-800 on behalf of Astra Airlines Greece, registration SU-BPZ performing flight A2-921 from Novosibirsk (Russia) to Thessaloniki (Greece) with 160 passengers, landed on Thessaloniki's runway 16 at about 07:14L (04:14Z) but overran the end of the runway by about 110 meters/360 feet and came to a stop with all gear on soft ground. No injuries occurred, the aircraft received minor if any damage.[67]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "14 Regional Airports". Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Fraport Greece Commences 40-Year Concession at 14 Greek Regional Airports". Copelouzos Group. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2023.
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  6. ^ "MAKEDONIA". World Aero Data. Archived from the original on 2 March 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
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  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Τζήμου, Κύα (19 October 2016). "Από τη Μίκρα στο SKG. Από το χθες στο αύριο του αεροδρομίου της Θεσσαλονίκης" [From Mikra to SKG: From the yesterday to the tomorrow of Thessaloniki airport]. (in Greek). Parallaxi Magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Greece signs privatization of 14 regional airports with Germany's Fraport -".
  14. ^ "The Company". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
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  28. ^ "5ος ΠΥΡΟΣΒΕΣΤΙΚΟΣ ΣΤΑΘΜΟΣ ΚΡΑΤΙΚΟΥ ΑΕΡΟΛΙΜΕΝΑ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ | GOVMAP" (in Greek). Retrieved 22 September 2022.
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  47. ^ "Ryanair NW23 Network Changes – 17SEP23".
  49. ^ "Smartwings NS24 Network Additions – 07JAN24".
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  54. ^ "Transavia to Launch Thessaloniki-Brussels Route in Summer 2024". 21 September 2023.
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  59. ^ "Car Rental". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  60. ^ Attiko Metro A.E. "Ιστορικό" [History]. (in Greek). Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  61. ^ "Η Συνέντευξη τoυ Γιάννη Μυλόπουλου για το Μετρό Θεσσαλονίκης" [Giannis Mylopoulos' interview about the Thessaloniki Metro]. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  62. ^ "Τοπογραφικές μελέτες για την επέκταση του Μετρό Θεσσαλονίκης προς Αεροδρόμιο "Μακεδονία"" [Topographical studies for the extension of the Thessaloniki Metro to the "Makedonia" Airport] (PDF) (in Greek). Attiko Metro. 18 March 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 March 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
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  65. ^ "Accident description Olympic Airways SX-CBI". Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  66. ^ "Photos: Tupolev Tu-154B-2 aircraft". Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  67. ^ "Incident: AMC B738 at Thessaloniki on Jun 15th 2013, overran runway on landing".

External links[edit]

Media related to Thessaloniki International Airport at Wikimedia Commons