|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 the village of Rinas, Tirana County, Albania. Founded in 2018, it operates scheduled air services for passengers to eight destinations in Europe.
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.
Albania's national competition authority cleared the airline's creation in September 2018. 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. An A319 on lease from Turkish Airlines operated the airline's maiden flight in April 2019.
The European Union Aviataion Safety Administration (EASA) granted Air Albania a Third Country Operator (TCO) certificate on 8 May 2020. This means Air Albania is now permitted to operate flights between Albania and the EU.
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.
As of June 2021, the airline flies to the following destinations:
|Albania||Tirana||Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza||Hub|
|Kukës||Kukës International Airport||Begins 15 July 2021|
|Italy||Bergamo||Orio al Serio International Airport|
|Bologna||Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport|
|Milan||Milan Malpensa Airport|
|Pisa||Galileo Galilei Airport|
|Rome||Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport|
|Verona||Verona Villafranca Airport|
|Switzerland||Zürich||Zurich Airport||Begins 15 July 2021|
As of September 2019, the Air Albania fleet consists of the following aircraft:
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).
- "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.
- Fabinger, Jakov (5 February 2020). "Airline Startup Of The Week: Air Albania". Simple Flying. Archived from the original on 13 June 2021.
- "Air Albania to launch flights in September". Worldbulletin News. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "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.
- "Albania to Ground Airline Owned by Arrested Businessman". Balkan Insight. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
- "Who Is Paying for Air Albania? – Exit Explains". Exit.al. 19 June 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- "ANALYSIS: Airline start-ups and failures 2018". FlightGlobal. 19 December 2018. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020.
- "Air Albania Deal Also Violated Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU". Exit.al. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
- "Air Albania secures European TCO authorisation". ch-aviation. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-09-16. Retrieved 2018-09-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Destinations of Air Albania". Air Albania. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Global Airline Guide 2019 (Part One)". Airliner World: 4. October 2019.
- ""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.
- "Lasgushi 'rikthehet' në Shqipëri. Air Albania nis sërish fluturimet". konica.al (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 February 2019.
Media related to Air Albania at Wikimedia Commons
- airalbania.com.al – Official Website (in English)