Heraklion International Airport

Heraklion International Airport
"Nikos Kazantzakis"

Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου
"Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"
Airport type Public / Military
Owner Greek State
Serves Heraklion
Location Heraklion, Greece
Opened 1937 (1937)
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 115 ft / 35 m
Coordinates 35°20′23″N 25°10′49″E / 35.33972°N 25.18028°E / 35.33972; 25.18028Coordinates: 35°20′23″N 25°10′49″E / 35.33972°N 25.18028°E / 35.33972; 25.18028
Location of airport in Greece
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,714 8,800 Asphalt
12/30 1,566 5,138 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers 7,480,408
Passenger traffic change 9.0%
Aircraft movements 50,754
Aircraft movements change 6.2%
Sources: Runways[1] Statistics: Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority[2]

Heraklion International Airport "Nikos Kazantzakis" (IATA: HER, ICAO: 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 centre of Heraklion, near the municipality of Nea Alikarnassos. It is a shared civil/military facility. The airport is named after Heraklion native Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer and philosopher. 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.


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 the fall of 1946 traffic resumed, introducing the DC-3 aircraft.[3]

At first, the airport only offered very basic service, with only primitive installations on the site, in the form of three 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 first 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. Jojo AIr also flew here But Ended service on July 2, 2001

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.

Terminal Extension

The latest airport expansion projects began in October 2017. The projects will be entirely financed by the Duty Free Shops SA, in agreement with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Hellenic Ministry of Waters, without any cost to the Greek government, include:[4][5][6][7]

  • the redesign of the layout of the ground and the first floors of the airport
  • the expansion of the terminal by 2,900 m2), an extension of 17 meters to the airside
  • the renovation of a further 8,000 m2) within the existing terminal
  • the increase in the number of gates for arrivals and departures of passengers
  • integration of the arrival hall
  • the modification of a luggage belt, so that passengers are not required to queues for their receipt
  • improve the operation of electronic ticketing
  • upgrading the video ad system
  • the modernization of air conditioning in the arrivals hall (budget 700.000 Euros)

The latest extension began on October 2017 and was completed on 30 March 2018, in time for the airport's high season.[8][9][10]

Further events

1973–1975Construction of aircraft hangars and service roads
1988Inauguration of new international departure and arrivals lounges (900 m2)
1992Completion of new international arrivals lounge
1994Operation of new international departures lounge (2,000 m2)
1996Completion of airport expansion by 11,700 m2
1997Operation of new international departures lounge (5,000 m2)
2005Completion of airport expansion by 18,985 m2
2018Expansion of the terminal by 2,900 m2 and renovation of a further 8,000 m2

Airlines and destinations

Aegean Airlines Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Beirut, Berlin–Tegel, Bordeaux, Brest,[11] Deauville, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Larnaca, Lyon, Marseille, Metz/Nancy, Moscow–Domodedovo, Munich, Nantes, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Saint Petersburg, Rhodes, Stuttgart, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion, Toulouse, Zürich,[12] Yerevan
Seasonal charter: Belgrade, Budapest, Groningen, Hannover, Iași, Tbilisi,[13] Leipzig/Halle
Aeroflot Seasonal: Moscow–Sheremetyevo
Air Dolomiti Seasonal charter: Bologna
Air Mediterranean Seasonal charter: Paris–Charles de Gaulle
Air Moldova Seasonal charter: Chișinău
Alitalia Seasonal: Rome–Fiumicino[14]
Armenia Aircompany Seasonal: Yerevan
ASL Airlines France Seasonal Charter: Lyon,[15] Manchester [15]
Astra Airlines Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Dresden, Munich
Aviolet Seasonal charter: Belgrade
Austrian Airlines Seasonal: Vienna
Blu-express Seasonal: Bergamo,[16] Rome–Fiumicino
BlueBird Airways Seasonal: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
British Airways Seasonal: London–Gatwick[17]
Brussels Airlines Seasonal: Brussels[18]
Cobalt Air Larnaca
Condor Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn,[19] Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Stuttgart
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Linz, Nuremberg, Paderborn/Lippstadt, Vienna
Corendon Dutch Airlines Seasonal: Amsterdam, Brussels, Groningen, Maastricht/Aachen, Rotterdam[20]
easyJet Seasonal: Berlin–Schönefeld, Bordeaux, Bristol, Edinburgh, London–Gatwick, London–Luton, Manchester, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle
easyJet Switzerland Seasonal: Geneva
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich
Ellinair Athens, Thessaloniki
Seasonal: Belgrade,[21] Berlin–Tegel, Bucharest, Katowice, Kiev–Boryspil, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Munich, Santorini, Saint Petersburg, Tbilisi,[21] Warsaw–Chopin
Seasonal charter: Mineralnye Vody,[22] Samara, Riga
Enter Air Seasonal charter: London–Gatwick, Wrocław
Eurowings Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Graz,[23] Hamburg, Hannover, Nuremberg, Salzburg
Finnair Seasonal: Helsinki
Germania Seasonal: Berlin Schönefeld, Berlin–Tegel, Bremen, Dresden, Erfurt/Weimar, Friedrichshafen, Münster/Osnabrück, Rostock
Germania Flug Seasonal: Zürich
Iberia Express Seasonal: Madrid
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Copenhagen
Jet2.com Seasonal: Belfast-International, Birmingham,[24] East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, London–Stansted,[25] Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Laudamotion Seasonal: Berlin–Tegel, Düsseldorf[26]
Lufthansa Seasonal: Munich
Luxair Seasonal: Luxembourg
Meridiana Seasonal: Bergamo[27]
Seasonal charter: Verona
Neos Seasonal: Milan–Malpensa
Seasonal charter: Bergamo
Nordwind Airlines Seasonal charter: Belgorod,[28] Chelyabinsk,[28] Kaliningrad,[28] Kazan,[28] Krasnodar,[28] Moscow–Sheremetyevo,[28] Nizhny Novgorod,[28] Novosibirsk,[28] Omsk,[28] Perm,[28] Rostov-on-Don-Platov,[28] Saint Petersburg,[28] Samara.[28] Ufa,[28] Yekaterinburg[28]
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo–Gardermoen, Stockholm–Arlanda
Pegas Fly Seasonal charter: Voronezh[28]
Ryanair Athens
Sky Express Athens, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos[29]
Seasonal: Paros[30]
Small Planet Airlines Seasonal Charter: Graz
Small Planet Airlines Poland Seasonal: Warsaw–Chopin[31]
Seasonal charter: Katowice[32]
SmartLynx Airlines Seasonal charter: Riga
SmartWings Seasonal: Brno, Budapest, Debrecen,[33] Lille,[34] Ostrava, Pardubice, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Prague
SunExpress Deutschland Seasonal: Düsseldorf, Frankfurt,[35] Hannover,[36] Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart[35]
Sun D'Or Seasonal: Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
Swiss International Air Lines Seasonal: Geneva
TAROM Seasonal charter: Bucharest
Thomas Cook Airlines Seasonal: Birmingham, Bristol, East Mindlands, Glasgow, London–Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Transavia Seasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam
Transavia France Seasonal: Lyon, Nantes, Paris–Orly
Travel Service Seasonal charter: Prague
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal charter: Budapest
Travel Service Polska Seasonal charter: Warsaw–Chopin
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: Bratislava, Košice
TUI Airways Seasonal: Birmingham, Bournemouth (begins 3 May 2019),[37] Cardiff, Doncaster/Sheffield, East Midlands, Exeter,[37] Norwich,[37] Glasgow, London–Gatwick, London-Luton (begins 2 May 2019),[37] London–Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne
Seasonal charter: Dublin
TUI fly Belgium Seasonal: Brussels, Charleroi, Ostend/Bruges, Strasbourg
Seasonal charter: Liège, Lille, Paris−Charles de Gaulle
TUI fly Deutschland Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hannover, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (ends 3 November 2018),[38] Leipzig/Halle, Munich, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken, Vienna
TUI fly Netherlands Seasonal: Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Groningen, Rotterdam
Ural Airlines Seasonal charter: Yekaterinburg
Utair Seasonal: Moscow–Vnukovo[39]
Volotea Seasonal: Bari, Marseille, Naples, Palermo, Venice, Verona
Vueling Seasonal: Barcelona, Rome–Fiumicino
Windrose Airlines Seasonal: Kiev–Boryspil
Seasonal charter: Dnipro
Wizz Air Seasonal: Budapest


Busiest routes

Busiest European routes from Heraklion Airport per week
Rank Destination Airport(s) Summer 2016 Top carriers
1 London LGW, LTN, STN 43 Aegean Airlines, British Airways, easyJet, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines
2 Paris CDG, ORY 32 Aegean Airlines, Air France, easyJet, Transavia France
3 Moscow DME, SVO, VKO 32 Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Ellinair, Siberian Airlines, Ural Airlines
4 Prague PRG 30 Aegean Airlines, SmartWings
5 Milan MXP, LIN 28 Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, easyJet
6 Frankfurt FRA 28 Aegean Airlines, Condor
7 Düsseldorf DUS 28 Aegean Airlines, Air Berlin, Condor, Eurowings
8 Brussels BRU 24 Aegean Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly
9 Vienna VIE 23 Aegean Airlines, Austrian Airlines, NIKI (airline)
10 Munich MUC 22 Aegean Airlines, Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa

Traffic figures

Historical annual traffic statistics[40]

YearFlightsPassengersPassengers Change (%)
200139,2905,046,726 2.0
200236,6644,791,729 5.1
200339,5234,833,507 0.9
200438,1704,712,508 2,5
200538,2664,932,911 4.7
200643,7405,345,652 8.4
200746,0125,438,369 1.7
200845,2805,437,068 0.02
200944,8425,052,840 7.1
201042,3964,907,337 2.9
201144,5205,292,687 7.9
201240,8565,076,329 4.6
201343,5445,792,429 14.7
201443,6376,024,958 5.2
201543,9706,057,355 0.5
201647,8046,865,681 13.3
201750,7547,480,408 9.0
2018*29,8344,233,840 13.0

* Figures for 2018 are up to the month of July.[41]

Other facilities

The airline Bluebird Airways has its head office at the airport.[42]


  • 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 (126 CG) which operates at the airport.

See also


  1. "Nikos Kazantzakis". WorldAeroData. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  2. "HERAKLION AIRPORT "N.KAZANTZAKIS"". Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  3. "Heraklion Airport History". www.heraklion-airport.info. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  4. "Προχωρούν τα έργα στο αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου - Πότε παραδίδεται το νέο κτίριο (φωτο)".
  5. "Χρ. Σπίρτζης: "Χωρίς κόστος για το δημόσιο η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου"".
  6. "Παίρνει μπροστά η επέκταση του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  7. "Παραχωρήθηκε η έκταση για την αναβάθμιση του αεροδρομίου Ηρακλείου".
  8. "Αυτό είναι το ... νέο αεροδρόμιο !".
  9. "Εικόνες από τους νέους χώρους του αεροδρομίου "Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"".
  10. "Συνεχίζονται και ολοκληρώνονται οι εργασίες στο Αεροδρόμιο Ηρακλείου ενόψει της έναρξης της τουριστικής σεζόν".
  11. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Aegean Airlines Adds Brest Service in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  12. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Update as of 15SEP14: Aegean Airlines to Open 23 Routes in S15". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  13. "ANDA Air and Aegean Airlines to increase flights in Georgia". Agenda.ge. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  14. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Alitalia Adds New Seasonal Service June – August 2014". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  15. 1 2 http://www.aslairlines.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/180322-Destinations-vols-loisirs-ASL-Airlines-France-Saison-Ete-2018.pdf
  16. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Blu Express Adds New Milan Bergamo – Greece Seasonal Routes Jul – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  17. "British Airways Announce Summer London Gatwick – Heraklion Route. - The BA Source". www.thebasource.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  18. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "brussels airlines Adds New Destinations in S16". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  19. https://www.condor.com/eu/book-plan/flight/timetable.jsp
  20. http://www.corendon.com/en-EN/ticket-heraklion
  21. 1 2 "Ellinair - Ellinair Airlines -Αρχική Σελίδα - Επίσημη ιστοσελίδα -". Ellinair. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  22. "Tour operator Mouzenidis Travel". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  23. Eurowings begin new seasonal service to Heraklion
  24. "Jet2.com Adds Birmingham Routes in S17". routesonline. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
  25. "Flight Timetables - Jet2.com". www.jet2.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  26. https://www.ryanair.com/la/en/cheap-flight-destinations
  27. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Meridiana schedules additional new seasonal routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 "Flight Search". pegasys.pegast.ru. 19 February 2018.
  29. https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/278520/sky-express-schedules-additional-domestic-routes-in-2q18/
  30. http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/273254/sky-express-new-domestic-routes-addition-in-s17/
  31. "P7 to Heraklion".
  32. "P7 to Katowice".
  33. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings Plans Hungary Operations June – Sep 2015". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  34. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "Smartwings adds various French routes in S17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  35. 1 2 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S17 new routes as of 23MAR17". Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  36. 2017, UBM (UK) Ltd. "SunExpress Germany S15 Planned New Routes". Routesonline. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  37. 1 2 3 4 "Flight Timetable". tui.co.uk. 5 November 2017. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  38. "TUI fly to terminate Karlsruhe presence in mid-4Q18". ch-aviation.com.
  39. Liu, Jim (26 May 2017 Insert current date). "UTair adds Irakleion service from June 2017". Routesonline. Retrieved 26 May 2017. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  40. "Statistical data of Iraklion airport "N. Kazantzakis" for the period 1994–2014" (XLS). Hellenic Civilian Aviation Authority. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  41. "MONTHLY AND PROVISIONAL STATISTICAL DATA". : Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  42. "Contact." (Archive) Bluebird Airways. Retrieved on 19 September 2012. "Offices: Heraklion International Airport "N.Kazantzakis" – Address in Greek Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine.: "Γραφεία: Κρατικός αερολιμένας Ηρακλείου Νίκος Καζαντζάκης"

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