|Founded||16 May 2018|
|Commenced operations||April 2019|
|Hubs||Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza|
|Key people||Sinan Dilek (CEO)|
Air Albania is the flag carrier of Albania. The airline maintains its hub and company headquarters at the Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza in Tirana, Albania. Founded in 2018, it operates scheduled air services for passengers to ten destinations in Europe.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama announced on 30 March 2017 that the Albanian government was planning to create an airline in Albania in partnership with 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 announced that Air Albania's founding was tied to the creation of an international airport in Vlorë, also planned in cooperation with the Turkish government. Rama unveiled the name of the new airline, Air Albania, on 21 November 2017.
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. The remaining 50.88% is publicly traded, 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. Albania's national competition authority cleared the airline's creation in September 2018. An A319 on lease from Turkish Airlines operated the airline's maiden flight in April 2019.
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. 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.
Developments since 2020
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted Air Albania a Third Country Operator (TCO) certificate on 8 May 2020, permitting Air Albania to operate flights between Albania and the European Union. In September 2021, the airline added a third aircraft to its fleet for the first time.
On 9 September 2022, the Albanian authorities suspended the airline's business license as the airline failed to hand in necessary documentation, however it was allowed to continue all flight operations.
As of May 2022[update], Air Albania flies to the following destinations:
Air Albania formerly also operated the following aircraft types:
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 Naimi (Airbus A320-200).
- "JO 7340.2J - Contractions - Including Change: Chapter 3. ICAO Aircraft Company/Telephony/Three-Letter Designator and U.S. Special Telephony/Call Signs" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 10 October 2019. p. 1, 3, 57. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
- ch-aviation.com - Air Albania's business license suspended 9 September 2022
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- aerotelegraph.com - "Air Albania has issues with state authorities over ownership" (German) 13 September 2022
- "Rama për Aeroportin e Kukësit: Bujrëm, 12 euro bileta për Zvicër!". Gazeta Blic (in Albanian). 11 June 2021. Archived from the original on 11 June 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- "Destinations of Air Albania". Air Albania. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "Air Albania will soon expand its network". italiavola. 29 January 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
- Liu, Jim (28 February 2020). "Air Albania expands Italy service from late-March 2020". Routes Online. Archived from the original on 12 May 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
- "As from 29 March 2022 new connection to Kukës (Albania) with Air Albania".
- "AIR ALBANIA 3Q22 TURKEY NETWORK EXPANSION". Aeroroutes. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
- "Air Albania adds two more A320s". ch-aviation GmbH. 22 September 2022. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022.
- airfleets.net - Air Albania retrieved 17 September 2022
- "Lasgushi 'rikthehet' në Shqipëri. Air Albania nis sërish fluturimet". konica.al (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- ""Migjeni është gati për Tiranë', Rama jep lajmin për avionin e ri: Ja kur i nis fluturimet". dosja.al (in Albanian). 28 September 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
Media related to Air Albania at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website (in English)