Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza

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Tirana International Airport
Mother Teresa

Aeroporti Ndërkombëtar i Tiranës
Nënë Tereza
Aeroporti Ndërkombëtar Nënë Tereza.svg
Terminal jashte.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorTirana International Airport SHPK and China Everbright Limited
ServesTirana, Albania
LocationRinas, Albania
Hub forAlbawings
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL108 ft / 33 m
Coordinates41°24′53″N 19°43′14″E / 41.41472°N 19.72056°E / 41.41472; 19.72056Coordinates: 41°24′53″N 19°43′14″E / 41.41472°N 19.72056°E / 41.41472; 19.72056
TIA is located in Europe
Location in Europe and Albania
TIA is located in Albania
TIA (Albania)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17/35 2,750 9,022 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passenger change 16–17Increase19.8%
Aircraft movements24,336[1]
Movements change 16–17Increase9%
Source: Albanian AIP at EUROCONTROL[2] Landings.com[3]

The Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza (Albanian: Aeroporti Ndërkombëtar i Tiranës Nënë Tereza, IATA: TIA, ICAO: LATI), often referred to as the Rinas International Airport, is the main international airport of the Republic of Albania. It serves the city of Tirana, its metropolitan area, and surrounding region in the county of Tirana.

The airport is named in honour of the Albanian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, Mother Teresa. It is located 6 nautical miles (11 kilometres; 6.9 miles) northwest of Tirana, in the municipality of Krujë, Durrës County.[4][5] It offers international connections primarily within Europe, whereas the most frequent routes are to Milan, Rome and Istanbul.

The airport will serve as the main hub for the national flag carrier Air Albania as well as Albawings. It also serves as a focus city for Adria Airways, Blue Panorama Airlines and Ernest Airlines.[6] In terms of passenger volume, it is the largest airport in Albania and the 12th in Balkan Peninsula.


Early history[edit]

The airport was constructed during a period of two years, from 1955 to 1957. However, Tirana had commercial airline services before. Domestic aviation starts in 1926 when German airline Adria-Aero-Lloyd obtained a monopoly for all domestic air routes in the country and begin servicing Tirana, Shkodër, Korçë and Vlorë. These operations proved unprofitable, and the airline sold its rights to Italian company Ala Littoria which opened regular routes in 1935 between Tirana to Shkodër, Kukës, Peshkopia, Kuçova, Vlorë, and Gjirokastra.[7] In 1938, the Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced regular commercial flights linking Tirana with Belgrade, Serbia with a landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia.[8]

After the end of the Second World War and installation of an isolationist communist regime in Albania, air transportation was rare. From 1944 and 1948 there was a service to Belgrade, but after the break of relations with Yugoslavia, until 1953, there was only a twice-a-month connection to Budapest operated by Soviet-Hungarian company Maszovlet.[7] From 1953 and 1955 there was no air service, until February 1955 when a route to Moscow was inaugurated, followed thereafter to other Eastern-European capitals. In the 1970s, Tirana was one of the first European cities to be served by China's CAAC Airlines, with a weekly flight to Beijing via Bucharest and Tehran. In the late 1980s there were six airlines flying to Tirana, with a total of nine round-trips per week.[7]

With the collapse of communism in Albania in 1991 and subsequent liberalization of travel restrictions abroad for Albanians, the number of airlines operating at the airport increased rapidly. In 1999 there were 8.249 flights and 356.823 passengers, seven times more than in 1991.[7]


The air traffic equipment and facilities of the airport have been heavily modernised, following investments by Tirana International Airport SHPK, a consortium led by Hochtief AirPort. Hochtief assumed management of the airport on 23 April 2005, for a 20-year concession period.[9]

The concession included the construction of a completely new passenger terminal and various infrastructure improvements, among them the construction of a new access road, new parking lots, and a bridge over the old airport access road.[10] The expansion resulted in an increased number of passengers per annum, estimated at 1.5 million passengers for 2009.[11][12] The number of passengers effectively increased to more than 1.5 million in 2010.[13]

The Terminal building and its second expansion, the Cargo building, its landscaping and carpark canopies was designed by Malaysian architect Hin Tan of Hintan.[14]

In December 2016, the Airport announced that it has served 2 million passengers during 2016, reaching its second milestone.[15]


As of 2017, China Everbright Limited is the sole owner of Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza. After reaching an agreement with the Albanian Government to end its monopoly on international flights from Albania, Hochtief AirPort sold the operating of Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza to China Everbright Limited,[16] a company specializing in asset management, direct investment, brokerage and investment banking.[17] China Everbright Limited has the right to operate Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza until 2027.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Adria Airways Frankfurt, Ljubljana, Munich
Aegean Airlines Athens
Air Alanna Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany[18]
Air Serbia Belgrade
Albawings Bari, Florence, Perugia, Pisa, Rimini, Venice
Seasonal charter: Tel−Aviv-Ben Gurion[19]
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino
Austrian Airlines Vienna
Belavia Seasonal charter: Minsk
Blu-express Ancona, Bergamo, Bologna, Genoa, Milan–Malpensa, Rome–Fiumicino, Turin, Verona
BRA Braathens Regional Airlines Seasonal charter: Copenhagen[20]
Bravo Airways Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany
British Airways London–Gatwick
Corendon Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich (begins 1 April 2019)[21]
Enter Air Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Prague, Warsaw-Chopin, Wrocław
Ernest Airlines Bergamo, Bologna, Milan–Malpensa, Pisa, Venice, Verona[22]
Seasonal: Cuneo
Eurowings Seasonal: Cologne/Bonn
Freebird Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya
Germania Seasonal: Düsseldorf (begins 30 May 2019)[23]
Germania Flug Seasonal: Zürich (begins 30 May 2019)[24]
Israir Seasonal charter: Tel−Aviv-Ben Gurion[25]
Jet Time Seasonal charter: Helsinki
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Norwegian Air Shuttle Seasonal: Copenhagen (begins 19 June 2019), Oslo–Gardermoen
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal charter: Antalya
Ryanair Sun Seasonal charter: Katowice, Warsaw-Chopin
Scandinavian Airlines Seasonal charter: Gothenburg[20]
SkyUp Seasonal charter: Kiev–Zhuliany[26]
SmartWings Seasonal: Prague[27]
SunExpress Seasonal charter: Antalya
Transavia Amsterdam
Transavia France Seasonal: Paris–Orly
Travel Service Hungary Seasonal charter: Budapest[28]
Travel Service Polska Seasonal charter: Gdańsk, Katowice, Rzeszów, Warsaw-Chopin
Travel Service Slovakia Seasonal charter: Bratislava, Košice
TUI fly Belgium Brussels[29]
Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Atatürk
Seasonal charter: Antalya
Wizz Air Budapest, Dortmund, London–Luton, Memmingen (begins 1 September 2019)


Old picture of the Airport in 1978
Terminal interior


Passenger, aircraft operations and cargo statistics at Nënë Tereza Airport
Year Passenger Change Aircraft Operations Change Cargo
(metric tons)
2005 785,000 Increase20.77% 15,400 N.A. N.A. N.A.
2006 906,103 Increase15.43% 15,856 Increase 2.96% 2,435 N.A.
2007 1,105,770 Increase22.04% 18,258 Increase15.15% 3,832 Increase57.37%
2008 1,267,041 Increase14.58% 19,194 Increase 5.13% 2,497 Decrease34.84%
2009 1,394,688 Increase10.07% 20,064 Increase 4.53% 2,265 Decrease 9.29%
2010 1,536,822 Increase10.19% 20,768 Increase 3.51% 2,355 Increase 3.97%
2011 1,817,073 Increase18.24% 22,988 Increase10.69% 2,656 Increase12.78%
2012 1,665,331 Decrease 8.35% 20,528 Decrease10.70% 1,875 Decrease29.41%
2013 1,757,342 Increase 5.53% 19,942 Decrease 2.85% 2,164 Increase15.41%
2014 1,810,305 Increase 3.02% 17,928 Decrease 3.02% 2,324 Increase13.53%
2015 1,997,044 Increase 10.3% 20,876 Increase 16.4% 2,229 Decrease4.1%[5]
2016 2,195,100 Increase 11.3% 22,352 Increase 7.1% 2,200 Decrease1%[30]
2017 2,630,338 Increase 19.8% 24,336 Increase 9% 2,266 Increase3%[1]
2018 (01.01 - 30.11) 2,719,911 Increase 12.8% 23,532 Increase 5.1% 2,014 Decrease 1.6%[31]

Busiest Routes[edit]

Most frequent routes at Tirana Airport
Rank Destination Airport(s) Number of Passengers 2017[32] Top carriers
1 Italy Milan MXP, BGY 390.735 Blue Panorama Airlines, Ernest Airlines
2 Italy Rome FCO 323.322 Alitalia, Blue Panorama Airlines
3 Turkey Istanbul IST, SAW 235.286 Pegasus Airlines, Turkish Airlines
4 Austria Vienna VIE 174.363 Austrian Airlines
5 Italy Pisa PSA 123.005 Albawings, Ernest Airlines
6 Italy Verona VRN 118.646 Blue Panorama Airlines, Ernest Airlines, Volotea
7 Italy Bologna BLQ 116.158 Blue Panorama Airlines, Ernest Airlines
8 United Kingdom London LGW, STN 96.865 British Airways, Small Planet Airlines
9 Germany Frankfurt FRA 90.286 Adria Airways, Lufthansa
10 Greece Athens ATH 84.860 Aegean Airlines

Ground transportation[edit]

Taxi rank at the airport
SH60 linking Tirana Airport with SH2 Tirana-Durrës Highway


The airport is linked with motorway SH60 (10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away) to SH2 Durres -Tirana access road. Taxis and car rental facilities are available at the airport. Taxis are available at the airport. The journey from Tirana to the airport takes 20–25 minutes, depending on traffic. Many taxi companies offer a flat rate for to/from Airport trips (the rate is usually 1,500 ALL.)


Rinas Express airport bus, located outside Arrivals terminal, leaves on the hour every hour (8am to 7pm), to the city centre, and the trip takes around 25 to 30 minutes. Rinas Express operates 12 hours (6 am to 6 pm) as an hourly bus service between the Airport and the back of the Opera building in the centre of Tirana. The single fare is 250 Albanian Lek. From Durres the single fare is 480 Albanian Lek.

Incidents and accidents[edit]

  • October 3, 2006: Turkish Airlines Flight 1476, flying from Tirana to Istanbul, was hijacked by Hakan Ekinci in Greek airspace. The aircraft, with 107 passengers and six crew on board, transmitted two coded hijack signals which were picked up by the Greek air force; the flight was intercepted by military aircraft and landed safely at Brindisi, Italy.
  • June 30, 2016: Three armed and masked people entered the cargo terminal, where they stole a huge amount of money that was to be transported abroad on airplanes. The amount of cash could have been up to 3 million euros. The incident caused national security concerns.[33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c http://www.instat.gov.al/media/3745/statistikat-e-transportit-dhjetor-2017.pdf
  2. ^ "EAD Basic - Error Page". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  3. ^ Airport record for Nënë Tereza/Rinas International Airport at Landings.com. Retrieved 1 August 2013
  4. ^ Wragg, David (November 2009). The World's Top 500 Airports (2nd ed.). Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ, UK: Haynes Holdings. p. 13. ISBN 978 184425 632 7.
  5. ^ a b "Facts and Figures about Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza - Tirana International Airport".
  6. ^ "Local-based carrier Albawings continues to grow successfully in the market - Tirana International Airport". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Historical Dictionary of Albania by Robert Elsie, pages 5 and 6
  8. ^ "DRUSTVO ZA VAZDUSNI SAOBRACAJ A D – AEROPUT (1927-1948)". europeanairlines.no. Retrieved 17 June 2010. In addition a new air service (No.2008) to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's small narbour(sic, probably neighbor), Albania, was opened. From August Aeroput flew from Beograd with a landing at Ragusa to Tirana, the capital of Albania.
  9. ^ "HOCHTIEF AirPort Signs Concession Agreement for Tirana Airport". hochtief.com. Retrieved 15 October 2004. The agreement, signed today in the presence of the Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano in Tirana, seals the airport takeover in the context of a BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) concession with a duration of 20 years.
  10. ^ "HOCHTIEF AirPort Signs Concession Agreement for Tirana Airport". hochtief.com. Retrieved 15 October 2004. Construction work for a new terminal is to commence right from the first year of operation.
  11. ^ "Tirana International Airport". Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  12. ^ Tirana International Airport, Albania Archived 23 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine. – HOCHTIEF.
  13. ^ "Facts and Figures about Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza". tirana-airport.com. Traffic Results: 2010 Passengers - 1,536,822
  14. ^ "TIRANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT" (PDF). tirana-airport.com. p. 9. The tall, bright and spacious building, designed by the renowned Malaysian architect Hin Tan, is a symbol of Albania's new self-confidence.
  15. ^ "Tirana International Airport reaches two millionth passenger milestone". ata.gov.al. Retrieved 3 December 2016. Tirana International Airport (TIA) announced on Friday the achievement of two major passenger traffic milestones in welcoming its two millionth passenger and recording the largest ever number of customers served at the airport.
  16. ^ "Shqiptarja.com - Aeroporti i Rinasit kalon 100% tek kompania kineze". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  17. ^ "irasia.com - China Everbright Limited". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  18. ^ https://chartershop.com.ua/index.php/charternye-rejsy-v-albaniju/charternye-rejsy-v-tiranu.html
  19. ^ http://www.tirana-airport.com/d/7/46/156/tirana-international-airport-welcomes-first-israeli-tourists-on-board-albawings/
  20. ^ a b http://www.aac.gov.al/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Buletini-AAC-Maj-2018.pdf
  21. ^ https://invest-in-albania.org/edelweiss-launch-zurich-tirana-direct-flights-april-2019/
  22. ^ "Book A Flight - Ernest Airlines".
  23. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/281572/germania-adds-dusseldorf-tirana-route-from-late-may-2019/
  24. ^ https://www.flygermania.com/en/
  25. ^ Liu, Jim (11 May 2018). "Israir adds Tirana charter from late-June 2018". Routesonline. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  26. ^ http://www.tirana-airport.com/d/7/46/157/sky-up-the-ukraine-charter-lands-at-tirana-international-airport/
  27. ^ "Tirana International Airport Emergency Plan Exercise - Tirana International Airport". www.tirana-airport.com.
  28. ^ https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/277873/travel-service-hungary-schedules-new-charter-routes-in-s18/
  29. ^ "Jetairfly Flight Plan". Jetairfly.
  30. ^ http://www.tirana-airport.com/l/7/53/company-information/facts-figures/
  31. ^ http://www.instat.gov.al/media/5042/statistikat-e-transp-nentor-2018.pdf
  32. ^ "Market Statistics - Tirana International Airport". 23 February 2018.
  33. ^ Times, Tirana (30 June 2016). "Spectacular airport robbery raises national security concerns". Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  34. ^ "Huge amount of money stolen at the Tirana Airport". Retrieved 21 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza at Wikimedia Commons
Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza travel guide from Wikivoyage