Crete Heraklion International Airport: A Modern Airport on a Mythical Island.
The Heraklion international airport is owned and operated by the Greek government. This airport, which is also known as the Nikos Kazantzakis airport, is situate on the island of Crete is Crete’s major and busiest airport. Opened in 1937, this airport presently serves as a hub for Minoan Air, Bluebird Airways and Sky Express. It is a facility shared by the civil and military.
The Heraklion International airport opened for the first time in 1939. At that time it was just a flat piece of agricultural land. A Junkers Ju-52 carried the airports firsts passengers. However, operations at the airport came to a halt during the Second World War. In 1946, air traffic was restored using DC-3 aircraft. The airport started with the crudest installations at the site. Made up of three tents, storm lamps for runway lighting and smoke for wind determination, the airport could only offer the most basic service possible. A small terminal was eventually erected in 1947 and Hellenic airlines commenced commercial flights in 1948. That year the airport saw 4000 passengers through.
In 1953, a paved runway of about 1850 meters in length was constructed. In 1954, the airport handled around 18,000 passengers. In1957, the Olympic Airways commenced use of the airport with DC-6 aircraft. In 1971, British Airways commenced the Heraklion International Airport’s first foreign charter flight. The runway underwent extensive construction from 1973 – 1997. First aircraft hangers and service roads were completed in 1975. In 1988 a new foreign departure and arrivals lounge was inaugurated in 1988 followed by another foreign arrivals and departures lounge in 1992 and 1994 respectively. In 1997, a new foreign departures lounge was completed. In 2005 the airport was extended by 18,985 m2.
However, plans are in place to close the Crete Hellenic Airport. This is due to the congestion faced by passengers during the summer months where they are often forced to queue up for check in outside the terminal. Hence the planned Kastelli Pediados airport at the cost of approximately 1 billion euros is to be completed soon. Upon completion of the new airport, the Heraklion airport will stop operations
Various airlines make use of Crete Heraklion International Airport. These include Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Berlin, British Airways, easyJet, Finnair, Germanwings, Lufthansa, Minoan Air, Monarch Airlines, Sky Express, Swiss International Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUIfly, Volotea, Vueling, Wizz Air, XL Airways France and Yukutia.
Heraklion has not by itself, been the recipient of any notable awards.
Routes and Destinations
Crete Heraklion International Airport operates a number of scheduled and seasonal flights to various destinations across Europe as well as Tel-Aviv in Israel. Last year traffic figures rose to 6,019,296 passengers, a 2% increase in figures from 2013. The latter year saw the highest increase in passengers through the Airport, up 14% from 2012. However, flights to the airport remained largely at the same position with 43,637 flights in 2014.
How to Check-In?
The Crete Heraklion International Airport provides various check-in alternatives. They are as follows:
Online check-in – various airlines provide an online check-in platform for passengers to undergo a hassle free experience by checking in at home and in the office.
Mobile Check-in – mobile web check in applications are available on various websites to enable users conveniently conduct check in at work, at home or even on the way to the airport! Online and mobile check in are very useful where you do not have any luggage to check in and wish to avoid long queues at the airport.
Check-in counters – persons unable to check in themselves can make use of the check in counters to conduct check-in. The friendly and lively airport staff is always on hand to assist passengers and ensure that their experience is as hassle free as possible.
Baggage and Allowance
The baggage allowed varies by the airline and the distance being travelled. Other factors like the reward programs subscribed to by the passengers as well as the class or type of ticket purchased may also affect their baggage requirements. Passengers are advised to talk with their airline to know their baggage requirements.
Seating may depend on the nature of the flight, whether it is short haul or long haul as well as the ticket and the airline regulations. Passengers should consult their airline to find out the seating regulations and how to make a seating request.
Booking fees vary from one destination to the other. Check in with your airline to know the booking fees for your intended flight. Regulations concerning change and cancellation of may flight vary depending on the airline. However passengers are generally advised to notify the airline of any intended change to booking early enough.