Albania's new national air carrier Air Albania announced on April 27 it plans to add flights to new destinations from Europe and North America.
Air Albania is a joint venture between Turkish Airlines, which owns 49% of the company, locally-owned MDN Investment controlling 41% and state-owned air controller Albcontrol, which has a stake of 10%.
“With the support of Turkish Airlines we bring you closer to some of Europe's most beloved destinations by commencing our flight routes to Italy, Istanbul and London […] Our services will soon be enriched with new destinations to Europe and North America,” the airline wrote on Facebook.
In March last year, Albania’s civil aviation authority issued a certificate to Air Albania for the provision of transportation services.
Air Albania will initially fly with its sole aircraft, an Airbus A319-132. In 2018, air passenger traffic in Albania went up by 12% y/y to nearly 2.95mn people, as the country becomes an increasingly popular destination for foreign visitors.
Albania currently has only one operational airport, in the capital Tirana, but recently the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy awarded a concession to a consortium of Dutch company NACO and local firms Global Technical Mechanics and Bami to revive the idled Kukes airport. However, a Turkish consortium's plans to build a new airport at Vlora on the Adriatic coast have reportedly run into difficulties. Discussions have broken down due to disagreements over the project, Turkish business daily Dunya reported last month without providing further details.