|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.
Albania's previous national flag carrier airline, Albanian Airlines, was rendered defunct when the Albanian government revoked its license to operate in Albania on 11 November 2011.
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.
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 EU.
As of May 2022[update], Air Albania flies to the following destinations:
|Albania||Tirana||Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza||Hub|
|Kukës||Kukës International Airport||Seasonal hub|
|Greece||Athens||Athens International Airport|
|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|
|EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg||Seasonal|
|Turkey||Antalya||Antalya Airport||(begins 2 July 2022)|
|Bodrum||Milas–Bodrum Airport||(begins 1 July 2022)|
|United Kingdom||London||London Stansted Airport|
As of May 2022[update], Air Albania operates 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 Naimi (Airbus A320-200).
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.
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