Krakow airport is in active discussions with Polish flag carrier LOT on potential reopening of a direct route to Chicago.

This would restore a service that was ended four years ago.

"At the moment we are at the level where we are talking," Radowslaw Wloszek, acting president of the airport's board, told Flightglobal at the Routes Europe conference in Krakow today. "It's all talks; there’s no decision yet."

He adds that the two parties need to "solve all the circumstances" that currently make the route "impossible".

Wloszek cites data showing that 60,000 passengers per annum fly indirectly to Chicago from Krakow. He notes that LOT ceased direct services between Krakow and Chicago after restrictions were placed on the airline's growth by European regulators. At the time the route was axed, LOT was seeing load factors of 85% on services to Chicago, Wloszek asserts.

Having discussed the route with LOT chief executive Rafal Milczarski, the airport president says that while "we all realise the circumstances they [LOT] are in", he is confident that a new route to the US city will be secured.

Krakow airport is also seeking new routes to Istanbul, Marseille, Barcelona and Genoa, Wloszek confirms. He says he has also held talks with representatives from the Canary Islands, "a destination we are interested in".

The Polish gateway handled 4.5 million passengers in 2015 and is forecasting 4.6 million for this year, adds Wloszek. Extension of the terminal and apron is intended to allow the airport reach a target of handling eight million passengers per annum.

Source: Cirium Dashboard