Bari Airport is located in Southern Italy, near the city of the same name, and in the neighborhood of Palese. For this reason, it is also known as Bari Palese Airport. However, its official name is Aeroporto di Bari Karol Wojtyla, after the late Pope John Paul II, although locals also refer to it as Aeroporto di Palese Macchie. The Airport is approximately 8 km (5 miles) to the northwest of the town center.
The Airport is a medium sized international airport, handling in the region of two and a half million passengers per year. In 2009 the passenger numbers were recorded as 2,825,456. It is part of the Aeroporti di Puglia, which also includes th airports of Brindisi, Foggia and Taranto. It is considered to be the gateway to the south of Italy, since it is nearby the big port city, and in the southern region of Puglia. The official IATA code is BRI, and its ICAO code is LIBD.
Bari airport dates back to the 1930’s, when it was constructed by the Regia Aeronautica, and used as a military airfield. In September 1943, it became an Allied military airfield when it was taken over by the British Eighth Army. During the rest of World War II it was used by numerous air forces, such as the Royal Air Force, United States Army Air Forces Twelfth, and the Fifteenth Air Forces. Its duty was then both as an operational airfield as well as a command and control base. Directly after the war, it became the property of the Italian Republic (Aeronautica Militare Italiana).
It started as a civil airport in the 1960’s, with regular flights to Catania, Venice, Palermo, Ancona and Rome. A while later, these Alitalia flights were taken over by ATI. Over the next years it became apparent that Bari Airport was too small to handle the more intense aircraft requirements and the increasing number of passengers. The upgrades began with a new runway, which was built to accommodate ATI’s new aircraft, the DC-9-30. It continued with the construction of a new cargo terminal in 1981. However, this terminal actually became the new passenger terminal. The runway underwent further improvements in 1990, while the terminal was once again upgraded as well. In 2002 it again became apparent that it was not capable of handling the traffic increase, and the founding stone of the new passenger terminal was laid out. By 2005 the new terminal was completed, as well as upgrades to the aircraft parking areas and runway. However, the renovations did not end there, as in 2006 a new control tower was built, and the runway was once again extended. In 2007, it was again decided to enlarge and extend the passenger terminals.
Bari Airport now consists of a first class terminal, totaling an area of more than 30,000 square meters, with its facilities spaced out over five levels. There is also a new multistory car parking area. It is served by various different airline companies, with the largest being Air Berlin, with 27% of its destinations. Other airlines include Ryanair, Meridiana, Easyjet, Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Air Malta, Air One, British Airways and Air Mauritius. Some airline companies, such as Ryanair, British Airways and Easyjet have increased their flights to various locations, such as Milan Malpensa, Rome Fiumicino, Milan Orio al Serio and Pisa. Popular destinations for Ryanair also include Frankfurt Hahn, Bologna, Alghero and London Stansted, while British Airways serves London Gatwick.
Similar to many other top class international Italian airports, Bari features a wide range of useful facilities. Although there are no hotels, there are many quality restaurants and shops. In the Arrivals Hall there is a counter for lost and found items, and in the Departures area there is the SEAP Lounge, where there are business services available and small offices and meeting rooms. The SEAP Lounge is open from 05:00 to 21:00. Banking facilities are adequate, with the Banca Antonveneta providing all services, and various ATMs.
Disabled passengers can request special assistance from their airline company, which will in turn inform Bari Airport of their requirements. The passenger terminal is equipped for disabled persons with special toilet facilities and 45 reserved parking spaces.
The address is Aeroporto di Bari “Karol Wojtyla”, Società Esercizio Aeroporti Puglia, 70057 Bari – Palese, Italy. Their telephone number is +39 (0)80 580 0200, and their fax number is +39 (0)80 580 0225. Further information is offered in the Departures Hall at the general information counter. Flight and tourist information can also be obtained from the Totem Web Points (touch screen computer displays) in the terminal.
Find below a choice of Airlines, destination and flight times operating at the Bari Airport.