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Air Albania is the national flag carrier airline of Albania,[1][2] headquartered in Rinas, Albania. The airline's hub is at Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, where the airline's corporate headquarters are also located.

Air Albania
Air Albania.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
ZB ABN AIRALBANIA
Founded16 May 2018 (2018-05-16)
Commenced operations19 April 2019 (2019-04-19)
HubsTirana International Airport Nënë Tereza
Fleet size2
Destinations5
HeadquartersTirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, Rinas, Albania
Key peopleSinan Dilek (CEO)
Sinan Idrizi
Websiteairalbania.com.al

Air Albania was founded on 16 May 2018 by a consortium led by the Albanian and Turkish governments under a public–private partnership. Turkish Airlines, a founding partner, owns 49.12% of Air Albania.[3] The remaining 50.88% is publicly traded,[3] currently split between Albcontrol, a corporation owned by the Albanian government, with roughly 10% and MDN Investment, a privately-held company in Albania, with roughly 41% of shares.[2]

HistoryEdit

Albania's previous national flag carrier airline, Albanian Airlines was rendered defunct when the Albanian government had revoked its license to operate in Albania on 11 November 2011.[4]

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama had announced in an interview with Enver Robelli on 30 March 2017 that the Albanian government was planning to create an "airline in Albania with cooperation from Turkish Airlines". On 8 May 2017, Rama and İlker Aycı, executive director of Turkish Airlines, released a joint press statement, declaring that an Albania-based airline was in the works, with support from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was later revealed that Air Albania's foundation was also tied to the creation of an international airport in Vlorë, also planned in cooperation with the Turkish government. Rama had unveiled the name of the new airline, Air Albania, on 21 November 2017.[5]

Air Albania was officially founded on 16 May 2018 by Turkish Airlines, Albcontrol, and MDN Investment.

ControversyEdit

Controversy behind the airline's founding erupted when it was discovered that founding partner MDN Investment had been founded 9 days prior, on 7 May 2018. Turkish Airlines contributed 30 million dollars in their start-up.[6] Moreover, on 16 May 2018, the Albanian government had given control of the land on which the Tirana International Airport was built to Albcontrol in order to participate in the public-private partnership. Due to lack of public comment, Albania may have violated the Stabilisation and Association Agreement it had signed during its accession process to the European Union.[3]

DestinationsEdit

As of September 2019 the airline flies to the following destinations:

Country City Airport Notes Ref
Albania Tirana Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza Hub
Italy Bologna Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport [7]
Italy Milan Milan Malpensa Airport [7]
Italy Rome Rome Fiumicino Airport [7]
Turkey Istanbul Istanbul Airport

FleetEdit

 
Airbus A319 at Tirana International Airport

As of September 2019, the Air Albania fleet comprises the following aircraft:[8]

Air Albania Fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y Total
Airbus A319-100 1 132 132
Boeing 737-800 1 16 135 151[citation needed] [9]
Total 2

In recognition to notable Albanian personalities, who have made positive contributions to the Albanian culture and society, the airline names each aircraft after them such as Lasgushi (Airbus A319-100) and Migjeni (Boeing 737-800).[10][9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Air Albania to launch flights in September". Worldbulletin News. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Avioni i parë i "Air Albania" ulet në Rinas, Rama: Nisi një epokë e re" (in Albanian). Top Channel. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Air Albania Deal Also Violated Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU". Exit.al. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Albania to Ground Airline Owned by Arrested Businessman". Balkan Insight. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Who Is Paying for Air Albania? – Exit Explains". Exit.al. 19 June 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.kokpit.aero/30-milyon-dolara-resmen-ortak
  7. ^ a b c Liu, Jim (6 August 2019). "Air Albania launches Italy service in late-Sep 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 4. October 2019.
  9. ^ a b ""Migjeni është gati për Tiranë', Rama jep lajmin për avionin e ri: Ja kur i nis fluturimet". dosja.al (in Albanian). Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Lasgushi 'rikthehet' në Shqipëri. Air Albania nis sërish fluturimet". konica.al (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 February 2019.