Albania’s new national airline company, a joint venture with Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), launched its first test flight Friday. The former flag carrier Albanian Airlines ceased operations on 11 November 2011 when its licence was revoked by the Albanian government.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Turkey’s ambassador to Tirana Murat Ahmet Yöruk and several Albanian ministers and Turkish Airlines officials participated in a ceremony at Tirana’s Mother Teresa Airport.
Speaking at the event, Rama said Air Albania was a strategic and long-term institution backed by Turkish Airlines, an undisputed global actor in the airline industry. “We could not be here without the initiative and generous support of President Erdoğan,” Rama added.
Yöruk said Air Albania has made its test flight from Istanbul to Tirana and will make a return flight to Istanbul on Saturday carrying 80 Albanian students. He described the new air carrier as a “bridge” between Turkey and Albania: “Turks and Albanians will be able to visit each other faster and cheaper.”
Turkish Airlines board member Mithat Görkem Aksoy said this was only the beginning. “We will make much bigger investments in Albania,” he added.
The flag carrier said stakes of 49 percent, 41 percent and 10 percent are being held respectively by Turkish Airlines, MDN Investment SHPK and Albcontrol, which manages Albania’s airspace and air traffic, representing the government of Albania.
The company, headquartered in Rinas and based at Tirana airport, has currently a single Airbus A319, but it plans to order two Airbus A320 aircraft.
Source: Daily Sabah, Wikipedia