Start-Ups Air Albania plans to commence operations this summer

  • Airport Tirana

According to a report in a local newspaper, the new airline is negotiating a joint venture with a major European airline and plans to launch first flights this summer.

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BalkanInsight reports, the new Albanian flag carrier Air Albania should begin flying to European destinations this summer. In December, first transatlantic flights are planned.

Since last month, the Albanian government is negotiating with Turkish Airlines about possibilities for a joint-venture. The Turkish carrier could hold a 49% stake in the new company, while the Albanian national air controller AlbControl and the new-founded company MDN Investment could take the rest.

The governments of the countries are in talks about a cooperation since last year, when Turkish Airlines confirmed interest in supporting the development of a new flag carrier in Albania.

According to the newspaper, Sinan Idrizi, the owner of MDN Investment stated, that the new airline “will be aggressive in the market.”

Turkish Airlines could support the new airline with know-how as well as aircraft equipment. As the plans to establish long-haul operations within just a few months seems to be very ambitious, first long-haul flights could be operated with wet-leased Turkish Airlines aircraft.

The article gives no further information about a possible fleet, first destinations or a hub. Albania sees a growing number of passengers and flights even though the country has currently only one own airline. The private carrier Albawings was founded in 2015 and operates flights to several European destinations with a fleet of one Boeing 737-500 and one B737-400. Additionally, the Slovenian Adria Airways has opened a base in Tirana and offers flights to the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt/Main, Munich and its own hub in Ljubljana.

The largest airport in Albania is Tirana Airport with over 2.6 million passengers in 2017. Several European airlines offer flights to the airport. There are currently no direct long-haul flights from Tirana.

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