Heraklion International Airport

Heraklion International Airport
Heraklion International Airport
"Nikos Kazantzakis"

Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου
"Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"
View of Heraklion Airport
HER is located in Greece
Location of airport in Greece
Airport type Public
Owner Greek Government
Serves Heraklion
Location Heraklion
Elevation AMSL 128 ft / 39 m
Coordinates 35°20′09″N 25°10′25″E / 35.33583°N 25.17361°E / 35.33583; 25.17361Coordinates: 35°20′09″N 25°10′25″E / 35.33583°N 25.17361°E / 35.33583; 25.17361
Website www.hcaa-eleng.gr/irak.htm
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,680 8,793 Asphalt
13/31 1,574 5,164 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Passengers decrease4,907,337
Aircraft Movements decrease42,396
Freight handled (tonnes) decrease1,755
Sources: Runways[1] Statistics[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 and covers 21,000 square meters of surface.

The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher.



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 fall 1946 traffic re-assumed, introducing the DC-3 aircraft.

At first the airport only offered very basic service, with only primitive installations on the site, in the form of 3 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 fist 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.

Celebrations for the opening of the airport in 1939

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 Copletion 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

Annual passenger throughput - 10 year history[2]

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

The effects of the economic crises can clearly be seen in the last 3 ears.


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.

New Airport

During the summermonths the airport can become very congested. During this period it is not uncommon that passengers have to wait in queue for check-in outside the terminal.

Therefore, a new airport at Kastelli Pediados has been planned. The project is originally expected to be completed by 2015. The cost of this airport will be approximately 1 billion euros. When the new airport is up and running, the existing airport at Heraklion will cease operations.[4][5]

Passenger Information

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 which operates at the airport.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Aegean Airlines Athens, Larnaca, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Brussels [begins 25 March 2012], London-Heathrow, Milan-Malpensa, Munich [begins 25 March 2012], Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, Strasbourg, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Aeroflot Seasonal: Moscow-Sheremetyevo
Air Berlin Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Erfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig/Halle, Münster/Osnabrück, Munich, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Zürich
Air Italy Polska Seasonal: Warsaw
Air Méditerranée Seasonal: Bordeaux, Lyon, Nantes, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Moldova Seasonal Charter: Chiṣinǎu
Air One Seasonal: Milan-Malpensa
Air VIA Seasonal: Zweibrücken
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome-Fiumicino
Arkefly Seasonal Charter: Amsterdam
Arkia Israel Airlines Seasonal: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Astra Airlines Seasonal: Thessaloniki
Austrian Airlines
operated by Lauda Air
Seasonal: Vienna
Belle Air Seasonal: Tirana
Blue Air Seasonal: Bucharest-Baneasa
Condor Seasonal: Berlin-Schönefeld, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels
Cyprus Airways Larnaca, Rhodes
Czech Airlines Seasonal: Dublin
EasyJet Seasonal: Berlin-Schönefeld, Bristol, London-Gatwick, London-Luton [begins 21 April 2012], Manchester, Rome-Fiumicino
Edelweiss Air Seasonal Geneva, Zürich
Enter Air Seasonal Bydgoszcz
Europe Airpost Seasonal: Cork, Dublin, Metz-Nancy, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
FlyLal ChartersPolska Seasonal: Warsaw
Fly Hellas Seasonal: Belfast-International, Birmingham, Humberside, Izmir, London-Gatwick, Lyon, Manchester, Milan-Malpensa, Nantes, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Porto, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
Germanwings Seasonal: Berlin-Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn, Hanover, Stuttgart
Hamburg Airways Seasonal: Hamburg
Helvetic Airways Seasonal: Berne
Holidays Czech Airlines Seasonal: Brno, Dublin, Prague
Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Madrid
Iberworld Barcelona, Madrid
Seasonal: Toulouse
Israir Airlines Seasonal Charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
ItAli Airlines Pescara
Seasonal: Brindisi
Jet2.com Seasonal: East Midlands, Leeds/Bradford, Glasgow-International [begins 13 May 2012], Manchester
Seasonal Charter: Newcastle upon Tyne
Jetairfly Brussels, Charleroi
Seasonal: Ostend
Kavminvodyavia Seasonal: Mineralnye Vody
Lauda Air Seasonal: Vienna
LOT Charters Warsaw, Krakow
Seasonal: Katowice
Luxair Seasonal Luxembourg
Malév Hungarian Airlines Seasonal: Budapest
Monarch Seasonal Scheduled: Birmingham [begins 1 May 2012], London-Gatwick [begins 1 May 2012]
Niki Seasonal: Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna
NordStar Moscow-Domodedovo
Seasonal: Norilsk [6]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Copenhagen
Seasonal: Oslo-Gardermoen
Novair Seasonal: Stockholm-Arlanda
Olympic Air Athens, Rhodes, Thessaloniki
Rossiya Seasonal: St Petersburg
Sky Express Athens, Ikaria, Kalamata, Kos, Mytilene, Rhodes, Samos, Sitia, Volos, Zakynthos
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal: Tallinn, Vilnius
Sky Wings Charter Seasonal Belfast-International, Birmingham
Smart Wings Seasonal: Ostrava, Prague
SmartLynx Airlines Charter Riga
Seasonal charter: Tallinn
Sun d'Or
operated by El Al
Seasonal: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
S7 Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo
Thomas Cook Airlines Belfast-International, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, Manchester
Seasonal: Newcastle upon Tyne
TAROM Seasonal: Bucharest-Henri Coanda
Thomson Airways Seasonal Charter: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Glasgow-International, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Transaero Airlines Seasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg[citation needed]
Transavia Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht
Seasonal: Rotterdam
Transavia France Lyon, Nantes
Seasonal: Paris-Orly, Lille
Travel Service Seasonal: Prague, Bratislava, Košice, Brno
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal: Budapest
TUIfly Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Zweibrücken
Ural Airlines Seasonal: Yekaterinburg
Vladivostok Air Charter: Vladivostok
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona
Wizz Air Budapest
Seasonal: Katowice
XL Airways France Lyon
Seasonal: Marseille
XL Airways Germany Basel, Bremen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Leipzig
Seasonal: Weeze


External links

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