Warsaw Modlin airport opened for scheduled flights

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Warsaw's second airport in Modlin has been opened for scheduled airline services after years of planning and construction work.

The former military airfield, which is located approximately 40km (25 miles) northwest of the Polish capital, will be mainly used by low-cost carriers as an alternative to the main Warsaw Chopin International airport in Okęcie, on the city's outskirts.

Irish no-frills carrier Ryanair is conducting flights from the new hub, while Hungary's Wizz Air plans to transfer all Warsaw operations to Modlin in future.

The airport has a 2,500m (8,200ft) runway and park positions for 10 narrowbody aircraft. A newly built 12,000m² (129,000ft²) terminal can accommodate around 5,000 passengers a day, although this could be expanded in future.

Around 300 million zloty ($88 million) have been invested in the upgrade - which included narrowing the runway from 80m to 60m - over the past two years.

Poland's tourism board says only limited shopping facilities have been made available at the airport in order to keep costs down.

Passengers wanting to travel by train between the hub and Warsaw need to use a shuttle bus to the train station in Modlin, located around 4km from the airport. However, a direct branch line to the terminal will be built by 2014.