The first flight took place by ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, with several passengers on board.
It was an extraordinary thing in those days. Poland was not a member of the EU at that time, and passengers could fly abroad mainly from Warsaw and, to some extent, from Kraków. ‘This undertaking was a co-ordinated effort made not only by the airport authorities, but also by the city, province and local government officials. Some arrangements were made also at the state government level because the launch of this connection required the consent of the state authorities,’ recalls Bogdan Borowiec, a representative of Eurowings in 1993.
The preparations for opening the route lasted almost two years.
The whole operation would not have been possible without the commitment of representatives of the Wroclaw authorities: Mayor Bogdan Zdrojewski, Deputy Mayor Jarosław Obremski, the Governor of the Wroclaw Province Janusz Zaleski and the President of Wroclaw Airport Leszek Krawczyk.
Initially, the planes flew to Frankfurt three times a week; then this frequency increased to five times a week. At the beginning, one plane could carry from 46 and 48 passengers. Later this capacity increased to 68 persons. Passengers flying to Germany were mainly businesspersons: foreigners accounted for 70% of them, while 30% were Poles.
‘We must keep in mind that these times were completely different. Not everyone could afford a plane ticket. But the most important thing was that the business world noticed the potential of Wroclaw and Lower Silesia. This stimulated the development of the city and the region,’ says Bogdan Borowiec.
The airport itself also changed. Before the take-off of the first international flight, it was necessary to set up permanent points for the Border Guard and the Customs Office (until then, representatives of these authorities had arrived at the airport only if necessary before scheduled departures of rare chartered flights). Apart from that, the airport also had to be equipped with adequate safety control devices.
‘It was a milestone that opened the sky over Wroclaw to international carriers. In 1993, Wroclaw’s adventure with international flights began. Foreign partners and carriers started recognising Wroclaw not only as a good place to launch new routes, but also as an attractive investment area,’ says Dariusz Kuś, President of Wroclaw Airport.