The Albanian President, Edi Rama, has announced that the Albanian government has finalized plans to start a national carrier, Air Albania, with Turkish Airlines backing the project as a strategic partner. Edi Rama, who has been personally involved in the airline’s set-up, has noted that service from Tirana will be established to Podgorica, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Zagreb.
Tirana has proven successful both for Adria and Air Serbia, with the lines providing high volumes of connecting traffic. Both Ljubljana, with 10 weekly flights operated by Adria, and Belgrade, with 6 weekly flights operated by Air Serbia, have generated large profits for the carriers.
The Albanian President, who was in Turkey to finalize the details for the new carrier, also noted: „It has been our objective to establish an Albanian carrier. I am very grateful to both the President of Turkey and the Executive Director of Turkish Airlines for providing us with such precious assistance. We are now close to finalising this project, and we are very hopeful that the first flights will begin soon. I do not want to talk about deadlines today, but, it is certain that with the help of our friends, which is not limited to technical assistance, but rather a broad spectrum of services, we will finally make an Albanian airline, that will provide the same quality of service as Turkish Airlines, a reality.“
None of the cities in the former Yugoslavia that Air Albania plans to launch are currently linked with Tirana. Last year, Croatia Airlines planned for Tirana to become its base as part of an initiative to station aircraft throughout the region, however the plans never materialized. Adria, apart from service to Ljubljana, also offers direct flights from Tirana to Frankfurt and Munich. It previously maintained operations to Brussels and Paris as well, but the flights were later suspended.