Albania has opened its second international airport in Kukes with the arrival of the first passenger flight operated by the airline Air Albania.
Arriving from London, UK, the passenger flight initially landed in Tirana International Airport (TIA) to pick up Prime Minister Edi Rama to inaugurate the new international airport named Kukes International Airport.
The Kukes airport, which involved a total investment of $28.7m (€24m), is constructed on a former refugee campsite that is 90 miles north-east of Albania’s capital.
It used to be the shelter site for the many Albanian refugees of the Kosovo War in 1999.
It has a single runway and three parking spots for aircraft.
Xinhua quoted Edi Rama saying: “The airport will ‘open the gates’ to the economic development of the Kukes district.”
According to the airport CEO Altin Progonati, the common international flights travelling to and from the new airport are expected to formally begin from 20 May.
Altin Progonati was quoted saying: “The airport is designed to operate as a ‘low cost’ airport and will offer travellers competitive prices.”
In March, a consortium led by Switzerland-based Mabco Constructions, a subsidiary of Mabetex Group, secured $123.8m to build, operate and maintain the Vlora international airport.
This was a 35-year concession contract. Two bidders had submitted their offers for the government tender, UK-based ALDE Corporation and the consortium of Albania-based Mabco Construction, as well as Turkish company YDA Group and Kosovo-based 2A Group.