By Dimitris Zopounidis,

Founder at and WCAO,

Αviation analyst

Research and Analysis Western Crete Aviation Observatory (WCAO):
Flights and  airline connections are the subject of research and study of the Western Crete Aviation Observatory – WCAO, a Research Annex to the site

Tourism research is carried out under the Annual Tourism Research of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (Maich) and the Financial Engineering Laboratory.

Chania International Airport experienced a large increase in passengers, 155.2% in 2021, compared to 2020.

  • Overall, in 2021, 1,795,236 passengers were moved through Chania, compared with 703,482  in 2020.
  • A strong recovery was recorded concerning foreign flights, which increased 228.6%, as 2021 amounted to 1,340,938 passengers, compared to 408,097 in 2020.
  • Domestic flights 454,298 passengers compared to 295,385 in 2020.
  • The best month of 2021 in terms of passenger traffic was August with 433,292 passengers, and most of the most flights of 3,323 were recorded in the same month.


As far as 2022 is concerned, there are already significant increases in numbers for January s (65% increase in flights) and February (99% increase in flights), according to Fraport official data.

With regard to 2022 and according to the data so far, Chania International Airport is expected to be linked to many destinations mainly in Europe and to specific outside Europe and to welcomes several airlines with new flight routes.

Airlines and flights for 2022

  • Finnair: The Finnish airline will connect Helsinki to Chania, with the first flight take place on 9 April and last October 29.
  • The British low cost airline is expected to connect Chania to the following destinations in the United Kingdom: Birmingham (from 03/05 until 25/10), Leeds Bradford (from 01/05 until 02/10) , London Stansted (from 03/05 until 01/11) and Manchester (from 03/05 until 01/11).
  • Norwegian: The largest low cost airline in Scandinavia, is expected to link the Chania Airport to Copenhagen International Airport (from 29/03 until 29/10) and the Oslo International Airport (from 29/03 to 29 / 10).
  • Wizz Air: The Hungarian low cost airline that flew in for the first time in 2021 is in the program, with the following international routes:
    Vienna, Sofia, Budapest, Warsaw, Cluj – Napoca, Abu Dhabi.

New destinations from / to Chania are: Bari, London Gatwick.

Furthermore, Wizz Air, as shown in the reservation system was designed to launch flights to both airports of Kyiv. With new developments and war, it is certain that there will be changes to these routes.

  • Transavia: The low-cost subsidiary of Air France Group – KLM, will connect Chania to Amsterdam and Paris (Orly airport).
  • Condor: The German airline has included in its flights from Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Dusseldorf to Chania. Also, in collaboration with SKY Express,Condor integrates this year, with codeshare flight, the International Airport Leipzig as shown on the booking engine.
  • British Airways: the British airline, includes in this year’s ‘Daskalogiannis’ program direct flight from Heathrow International Airport. The flights beginon April 2nd and last until October 29th. The company connects London to Chania with daily flights, while in some periods two routes per day are expected.
  • Lufthansa: The German airline, member of Star Alliance, will prefer this year Chania airport with direct connections from Munich and Frankfurt. The first flights are expected to begin in late April to early May.
  • Ryanair: The largest low cost carrier in Europe is expected to be the leading operator this year for Chania Airport (always according to the program that has elements of previous years).
    The ‘Daskalogiannis’ program ” included at least 34 destinations:
    East Midlands, Warsaw Montlin, Venice Treviso, Berlin, Bucharest, Bremen, Wrocław, Brussels Charleroi, Gdansk, Dublin, Krakow, Leeds Bradford, London Stansted, Malta, Manchester, Marseille , Memmingen Milan Bergamo, Bari, Bologna, Naples, Newcastle, NRN Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Paphos, Pisa, Rome Fiumicino, Rome Ciampino, Turin, Frankfurt HHN, Sofia, Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Vienna.
    This year Ryanair has not included the following destinations (that performed last year): Denmark Billund, Bristol UK, Poland Gdansk, Cologne Germany, Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Brussels Airlines: This airline of Belgium returns to the aviation market of western Crete and is expected to connect the international Brussels Airport (BRU) with ‘Daskalogiannis’.
  • TUI: is expected to link ‘Daskalogiannis’ to Central and Northern Europe with flights from both the UK and Belgium as well as Germany.
  • easyJet: The low-cost airline has been in the program of Chania, with links to important and profitable destinations, both from the UK and from Central Europe.

Important links are expected both from the Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the Aegean (charter flights) from / to the following routes:

  • Oslo, Norway
  • Helsinki, Finland
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Stockholm, Sweden
  • Billund, Denmark
  • Oulu, Northern Finland
  • Norsepingk, Sweden
  • Umea, northern Sweden
  • Visby, Sweden
  • Stavanger, Norway
  • Trondheim, Norway

Furthermore, significant connections with West Crete and Chania, are offered by Austrian Airlines from Vienna,  LOT, Poland, Corendon (Hungarian Airline) from Germany and Switzerland , and  Sunclass Airlines from Scandinavia .

Charter flights:

The contribution of charter flights from airlines that operate only such flights to Western Crete from Scandinavia and cities of Central and Northern Europe is expected to be important

Extremely important is the connection offered by Ryanair to Israel (Tel Aviv) , which is also included  this year.
Tel Aviv had joined the EL Al (Israel Air carrier) program, offices had been rented at ‘Daskalogiannis’ airport by the company last year, but flights were not executed.

New links for 2022 are:

  • Hamburg (EuroWings)
  • Prague (EUROWINGS)
  • Newcastle (Ryanair)
  • Bari (Wizz Air)
  • Cologne (Corendon)
  • Basel (Corendon)
  • Brussels (Brussels Airlines)

Great Dane Airlines, which went bankrupt in October 2021, performed charter flights from Scandinavian destinations to Chania and transferred a remarkable number of tourists to Western Crete, is a company that we will not see this year land at ‘Daskalogiannis’.

It is expected with great interest this year, the observation of volatile activity at Chania Airport by the Western Crete Aviation Observatory.

© Photo by DZ