Corfu airport history

Corfu airport was established in 1937, while the first landing aircraft there was a Heston Phoenix (SX-AAH), governed by Efstratios Xydis, on 22 March. During the Second World War, Corfu airport was used by the Italian and German forces of the “Axis” as the base of transport and fighter aircraft.

At the end of the war the length of the runway was 600 meters. Upon its expiration, the runway extension began, using debris from the city’s bombarded buildings, and at the end of April 1949 the length reached 800 meters. The next and last extension of the runway began in 1957 and was completed in 1959, with a length of 2,375 meters.

The first commercial flight was conducted on 19 April, 1949 by AME with an Avro Anson aircraft (SX-BDA) from Athens carrying 7 passengers. The airline TAE continued its flights, followed by HELLAS on September 2, 1950, both with DC-3 aircraft. The competition prompted AME and HELLAS to merge with TAE, which was later bought by Aristotle Onassis, who founded Olympic Airways in 1957.

In 1962, the small passenger terminal building, which now houses Corfu Aeroclub and the Olympic Airways Commodity Bureau, was built. In April 1965, Corfu Airport became International and the first flight under the control of Air Traffic Control was carried out with a Comet aircraft of Olympic Airways. The construction of the new passenger station began in 1968 and was completed in 1972.

In December 2015, the privatization of Corfu Airport, along with 13 other regional airports, was finalized with the signing of the Fraport AG/Copelouzos Group’s syndication agreement by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF). Under the agreement, the consortium will operate the 14 airports (including those of Mykonos) for 40 years starting April 11, 2017.

Historical Photos