Kraków has gained 8 airlines in two years; Ryanair number one; Frankfurt FRA top destination

Located in southern Poland, Kraków welcomed a record 9.4 million passengers in 2023, cementing its position as the country’s second-busiest airport. Famed for being a big inbound tourist market and the country’s Poland’s second most populous city, Kraków gained an additional million passengers versus 2019.

Krakow passengers 2006-2023

Eight airlines were added in two years

Analysing Cirium schedules information data shows that the following carriers have joined Kraków’s portfolio since 2023:

  • 2024: Air Arabia, airBaltic, Cyprus Airways
  • 2023: Air Dolomiti, Air Serbia, Pegasus, SunExpress, Turkish Airlines

On 29 June 2024, Air Arabia will start a daily service from Sharjah, the first time the UAE city has had Kraków (and indeed Polish) flights. It will coexist with flydubai’s 3-daily service in July and Wizz Air’s 2-weekly flights to Abu Dhabi.

Of course, not all airlines have survived. The past few years have seen, among others, the end of Blue Air (2019), FlyOne (2020), Iberia Express (2019), Onur Air (2019), Transavia (2023), Transavia France (2023), Ukraine International (2020; pre-war), Vueling (2019) and Yan Air (a Ukrainian airline; 2019).

Pegaus Krakow launch

Ryanair has grown strongly, but Wizz Air has not

As Ryanair is the leading carrier in Poland by some distance, it is unsurprising that it is also number one in Kraków. It has 11 based aircraft and is so dominant that it has 52% of S24 seats. It is four times the size of Wizz Air. Kraków is Ryanair’s 15th most-served airport out of 233 in its network this summer, and its leading airport in Central and Eastern Europe.

Athens International Airport

Ryanair’s S24 capacity has increased by 18% year-on-year with 82 summer routes. The contrast with Wizz Air is stark, as its capacity has reduced by nearly the same amount. Wizz Air’s summer network has fallen from 23 to 17 routes. Gone are Birmingham, Burgas, Catania, Keflavik, Kutaisi, Leeds Bradford and Stockholm NYO. Only Tirana is new.

Top 10 Krakow airlines

Frankfurt FRA is number one; was also served by Ryanair until 2022

Kraków’s S24 network involves 33 countries in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and North America. The UK has the most capacity, followed by Italy, Germany, Spain, and Norway. Its network extends as far as Chicago ORD (3- to 4-weekly) and Newark (weekly), both by LOT Polish. They are mainly for the Polish diaspora but also for inbound tourists.

Comparing S24 with S23 indicates that Zielona Góra, Keflavik, Kutaisi, Nuremberg, Poznań and Stockholm NYO are no longer served from Kraków. However, Brussels BRU, Dubrovnik, Faro, Olbia, Sharjah, Tirana, Treste, and Vilnius are now. Faro, Olbia, Sharjah and Trieste are brand-new, Vilnius returns after 12 years and Tirana has regular service again.

The 800-kilometre link to Frankfurt FRA is Kraków’s leading destination. There are 31-weekly flights in July, all by Lufthansa, and mainly on the A320. LOT Polish served it until 2013, and Ryanair, which previously had a base at FRA, between 2017 and 2022. Of course, Lufthansa’s service is mainly about connecting passengers, with the US and Germany the two largest transfer markets.

Top 10 Krakow destinations

 

Shannon Airport