|Thessaloniki International Airport "Macedonia"
|IATA: SKG ICAO: LGTS|
|Operator||Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture|
|Location||Mikra, Macedonia, Greece|
|Elevation AMSL||7 m / 23 ft|
Map of the airport
Thessaloniki International Airport "Macedonia" (Greek: "", ) (IATA: SKG, ICAO: LGTS), formerly known as Mikra Airport, is located 7 nautical miles (13 km; 8.1 mi) south of the White Tower of Thessaloniki in Greece at Thermi.
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 2015, with over 5 million passengers. It is the main airport of Northern Greece and serves the city of Thessaloniki (the second-largest city in Greece), the popular tourist destination of Chalkidiki and the surrounding cities of the region.
During World War I the area that the airport currently occupies was used as an airfield and it continued operating as an airfield during World War II. At the time of the German occupation of Greece major projects took place, such as the creation of a 600 metres (2,000 ft) runway, while in 1948 the airport started operations as a civil airport for the first time.
In 1950 the already existing (10/28) runway got paved with asphalt at a length of 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and in 1952 it was extended to 2,000 m (6,600 ft). It was the same year that the first airport building was completed, with a control tower on the roof. One year later a new runway (16/34) was built. In 1958 the runway 10/28 underwent reconstruction and was extended to a total length of 2,440 m (8,010 ft) (current length), while runway 16/34 was extended to 2,400 m (7,900 ft), with its completion in 1972. In 2004 a new parallel taxiway for runway 16/34, was opened for use.
In September 1965 a new terminal building opened on a new location (current location). In the period between 1968 and 1973, the terminal was expanded, with the construction of a second floor and its first motorway junction. Due to the 1978 Thessaloniki earthquake, the control tower was destroyed, so a new one was constructed, independent of the main terminal building. The next expansion of the terminal took place in two stages, with the projects starting in 1991 and 1993 respectively. The municipality of Thessaloniki, as a European Capital of Culture for 1997, took over a projects for the aesthetic intervention, renovation, modernisation and reorganisation of the spaces of the building.
The terminal building took its current form, when an additional of 19,000 m2 (200,000 sq ft) were added to the western and eastern side of the terminal building, completed in November 2000 and June 2003 respectively. The western extension included the widening of the international departures area (new Extra-Schengen Area), including new administration offices, a new health station and the new station control of Olympic Airlines. The eastern expansion included a new check-in hall, new waiting halls and additional administrative offices for airlines. Today the terminal has a total floor area of 32,000 square metres (340,000 sq ft). Finally, during 20042006 the new motorway junction was completed on the level of the departures entrance of the Terminal and new parking spaces for cars, buses and taxis were created. In 1992 the airport changed its name from Micra to Macedonia.
In June 2015, there was an important event in the history of the Macedonia airport and the Hellenic aviation. SkyGreece Airlines opened the first regular transatlantic flight coming from Toronto, Canada via Budapest, Hungary, due to the short runway of the Airport. The flight was scheduled to operate once a week during summer, but SkyGreece Airlines ceased all its operations in late August 2015, due to lack of funds and blaming the capital controls.[clarification needed]
In December 2015 the privatisation of Thessaloniki Airport and 13 other regional airports of Greece was finalised with the signing of the agreement between the Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture and the state privatisation fund. "We signed the deal today," the head of Greece's privatisation agency HRADF, Stergios Pitsiorlas, told Reuters. According to the agreement, the joint venture will operate the 14 airports (including Thessaloniki Airport) for 40 years as of autumn 2016.
The airport's terminal 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 first floor serves departures and also includes a shopping center. On this floor there are 34 check-in counters, waiting areas, bars, stores that sell tobacco and magazines and various airlines' offices. The second floor houses two restaurants and several bars with views to the runways.
Inside the airport there is one restaurant, four coffee-bars and a tobacco store. Furthermore, except from the duty-free shop, there are stores selling traditional products, jewellery, accessories and clothes. Passengers also can utilize a luggage secure-wrapping service and luggage lockers. An Hellenic Post post office and automated teller machines are available on the passengers' departure area. There is also an office of the Greek National Tourism Organization. Finally, car hire companies can be found in the airport such as AVIS, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.
There are two passenger lounges at the airport:
|Aegean Airlines||Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Larnaca, Moscow-Domodedovo, Munich, Stuttgart
Seasonal: Hanover, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Saint Petersburg, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
|Air Berlin||Seasonal: Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart|
operated by Alitalia CityLiner
|Seasonal: Milan-Linate, RomeFiumicino|
|Astra Airlines||Bucharest (begins 23 December 2016), Chios, Heraklion, Ikaria, Kos, Lemnos, Mytilene, Samos, Syros (resumes 16 December 2016)
Seasonal: Karpathos, Kythira, Milos, Mykonos, Santorini
Seasonal charter: Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion
|Belavia||Seasonal charter: Gomel, Minsk-National|
|British Airways||Seasonal: London-Gatwick|
|Brussels Airlines||Seasonal: Brussels|
|Condor||Seasonal: Frankfurt (begins 28 April 2017)|
Seasonal: Hamburg, Manchester
|easyJet Switzerland||Seasonal: Basel/Mulhouse|
|Egypt Air||Cairo (begins 3 June 2017)|
|Ellinair||Athens, Heraklion, Kiev-Boryspil, Larnaca, Mineralnye Vody, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Rhodes, Tbilisi
Seasonal: Cluj-Napoca (begins 15 June 2017), Dnipropetrovsk, Frankfurt (begins 10 June 2017), Kaliningrad, Kharkiv, Kythira, Krasnodar, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Vnukovo, Novosibirsk, Odessa, Riga, Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Santorini, Stuttgart (begins 10 June 2017), Warsaw-Chopin, Verona, Yekaterinburg
Seasonal charter: Almaty, Astana, Kazan, Lviv, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Perm, Samara, Tallinn, Tyumen, Ufa, Volgograd, Voronezh
|Enter Air||Seasonal charter: Gdask, Katowice, Pozna, Warsaw-Chopin|
Seasonal: Hamburg, Salzburg (begins 28 March 2017)
operated by Germanwings
Seasonal: Hamburg, Hanover
|Jet2.com||Seasonal: East Midlands (begins 25 May 2017), Edinburgh (begins 30 May 2017), Leeds/Bradford (begins 30 May 2017), Manchester (begins 27 May 2017)|
|Niki||Seasonal charter: Innsbruck|
operated by Aegean Airlines
|Athens, Chania, Heraklion, Mytilene, Rhodes
Seasonal: Kos, Mykonos, Santorini
|Olympic Air||Chios, Corfu, Kalamata, Samos, Skyros
|Ryanair||Athens, Beauvais, Bergamo, Berlin-Schönefeld, Chania, Charleroi, Copenhagen (begins 29 March 2017), Dortmund (begins 27 March 2017), Frankfurt-Hahn, Gothenburg-Landvetter (begins 27 March 2017), Hamburg (begins 28 March 2017), London-Stansted, Paphos, Rome-Ciampino, Weeze
Seasonal: Bologna, Bremen, Girona, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Stockholm-Skavsta, Warsaw-Modlin
|Saratov Airlines||Seasonal charter: Saratov|
|Sky Express||Chios, Samos|
|Small Planet Airlines||Seasonal charter: Katowice, Manchester|
operated by Travel Service
Seasonal charter: Brno, Ostrava
|Swiss International Air Lines||Seasonal: Geneva, Zürich|
|Thomson Airways||Seasonal: Bristol, East Midlands, London-Gatwick, Manchester|
|Transavia France||Seasonal: Paris-Orly|
|Travel Service Polska||Seasonal charter: Gdask, Warsaw-Chopin|
|TUIfly Belgium||Seasonal: Brussels|
|UTair Aviation||Seasonal: Kazan, Moscow-Vnukovo, Samara|
|Wizz Air||Budapest, Kutaisi|
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. 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.
|Rank||Destination||Airport(s)||July 2016||Top carriers|
|1||Athens||ATH||108||Aegean Airlines, Ellinair, Ryanair|
|2||Moscow||DME, SVO, VKO||24||Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Ellinair, UTair Aviation|
|3||Larnaca||LCA||22||Aegean Airlines, Blue Air, Cobalt Air, Ellinair|
|4||Düsseldorf||DUS, NRN||21||Aegean Airlines, AirBerlin, Eurowings, Ryanair|
|Heraklion||HER||21||Astra Airlines, Ellinair, Olympic Air|
|5||London||LGW, STN||20||British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, Thomson Airways|
|Munich||MUC||20||Aegean Airlines, AirBerlin|
|6||Berlin||TXL, SFX||19||AirBerlin, easyJet, Ryanair|
|7||Stuttgart||STR||17||Aegean Airlines, AirBerlin, Germanwings|
|9||Santorini||JTR||13||Astra Airlines, Ellinair, Olympic Air|
|10||Chania||CHQ||11||Olympic Air, Ryanair|
|11||Brussel||BRU, CRL||10||Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Ryanair|
Apart from passengers, the airport also handled 8.2 thousand tons of freight in 2010, a considerable drop from the 21.4 thousand tons it handled in 1997.
|Thessaloniki Bus Route No. 78N|
The airport is served on a 24-hour basis by Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH);
In September 2010 it was announced that an extension of the under construction Thessaloniki Metro to the airport is under consideration. The manufacturing company considers the possibility of constructing the extension with an over-ground rail-based transportation system, such as a monorail.
The airport is directly connected with the city's major road arteries in the southeast, the EO16 and the A25 (the Thessaloniki-Chalkidiki motorway) via the 67; offering direct access via the Thessaloniki Inner Ring Road to the A1/E75 and A2/E90 motorways; making transportation to and from Thessaloniki Airport relatively easy. A total of 2,285 parking spaces for cars exist at the front of the terminal building and taxis are available at the designated taxi waiting area, located outside the arrivals exit. The taxi fare to the city center is approximately 1520 from 5 am to 12 am, while from 12 am to 5 am expect to be charged an extra 10 for this particular route.
As part of a comprehensive masterplan released by the government in 2002, several projects have been started to improve Thessaloniki Airport. Other than the building works on the current terminal, including the construction of a new cargo terminal, the masterplan features two major projects.
Phase 1 of the masterplan includes the expansion of existing runway 10/28 and is currently under construction. During the process of the project design, 80 Greek and 5 Danish civil engineers and scientists from other specialties have worked on the project. Both the runway and the taxiway will be extended by 1,150 m (3,770 ft), 1,000 m (3,300 ft) out into the sea, resulting in a runway that will have a total length of 3,440 m (11,290 ft) with an extra safety distance of 150 m (490 ft). Its width will be 50 m (160 ft) while the taxiway's width, which will be located at an axial distance of 183 m (600 ft) from the runway, will be 23 m (75 ft). The new runway and taxiway sections will be equipped with appropriate lighting and control systems, that will extend a further 750 m (2,460 ft) into the sea. The completion date was set in July 2011, but due to financial problems of the manufacturing company, reactions of environmental organizations and residents of the surrounding areas, fearing ecological dangers by extending land into the sea, the project has been held back. A new completion date for December 2012 was set, only to be pushed further back to July 2013 and then December 2015. The expansion of the runway will allow for the landing of larger aircraft, such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, and increase safety, as the aircraft will have greater flexibility and visual contact on days with bad weather conditions.
Phase 2 of the masterplan has heralded the construction of a new larger terminal, together with a new apron for 36 aircraft, of which 14 will be stationed at contact place. The second phase of the masterplan will drastically increase the status of the airport and eliminate existing passenger traffic problems, especially during the summer period. The new terminal will be able to accommodate 8 million passengers per year (in peak hours 2.800 passengers for departures or arrivals) while the terminal's total area is expected that it will be 115,000 m2 (1,240,000 sq ft). In December 2010, the Greek government revealed that there are thoughts for the construction of the new terminal through private investing, the same way in which Athens International Airport was realised. It's highly plausible that Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group joint venture, which in 2016 took over the control of the airport, will realise the construction of Terminal 2, in order to upgrade its status as a regional transport hub.
|Macedonia International Airport masterplan|
Media related to Thessaloniki International Airport at Wikimedia Commons