Been there, done that!
An analysis by m1nd-set, a research agency based in Switzerland says that Albania’s Tirana International Airport is one of the most affected in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Comparing international departures for March and April, 2020 with the same period last year, it estimates that there will be 132,000 passengers less flying from Tirana, a decline of 58.7%.
This is mainly due to the flight cancellations to and from Italy. They make up about 60% of Albania’s air traffic.
Following the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Austrian Airlines has announced that flights to and from Tirana will be suspended as of March 19, 2020 until further notice, the country’s international airport announced on its Facebook page.
Austrian Airlines also send an email to their passengers saying: “as new entry stops are imposed worldwide every day and the demand for air travel is rapidly declining, we have decided today to temporarily terminate flight operations from Wednesday
night, March 18, 2020 until March 28, 2020.”
For the departures until March 28, 2020: Cancelled flights will be rebooked automatically. Passengers are urged to check the status of the rebooking under 'My bookings' on austrian.com.
For the departures from March 29 to April 30, 2020: For tickets with a departure date until 30 April, which were booked until 12 March, Austrian Airlines offers an extended goodwill arrangement: Tickets can be temporarily suspended. They must then be flown by December 31, 2020 at the latest, whereas the booked route may also be changed. The new travel date must be announced by June 1, 2020 at the latest. Passengers should contact the Service Center by telephone or via the contact form on the Austrian Airlines website www.austrian.com.
Tickets with a departure date up to April 30, which were purchased after March 12, can be rebooked to a new flight date free of charge until the end of the year. The destination cannot be changed.
Albania announced on Monday that flights to and from the UK will be suspended starting March 16, 2020 at 23:59 hours.
The country’s PM, Edi Rama shared on his Facebook page the announcement from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, regarding the ban:
“In the framework of the measures of the Albanian government for preventing the spread of Covid-19, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy informs that starting on March 16, at 23:59 hours, all flights to and from the United Kingdom are banned,” the announcement reads.
From March 13, 2020, all passengers travelling from Tirana International Airport to other destinations in the world- except Italy and Greece with suspended flights- on their way to the airport were required to have their tickets, printed or a photo of them, the authorities announced.
Regardless, as Top Channel TV reported on Sunday, the road towards the "Mother Teresa" Airport, the only operational airport in the country, was empty.
No cars were seen, as the ban on cars and fear of the coronavirus pandemic, are part of the daily life in major Albanian cities.
The government has appealed to the citizens to stay at home, as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All flights to and from Italy and Greece are suspended. Flights to and from other destinations weren't affected.
Albania postponed the deadline for submitting bids for the Vlora airport project. The Ministry of Infrastructure announced that the new deadline is March 30, 2020.
The decision was taken amid the coronavirus pandemic, although the ministry didn’t specify the reasons.
Postponing the bidding deadline will also delay all the other steps of the project, including the evaluation process and the start of the project, planned for May.
In the bidding process, the government has decided to guarantee to winning company’s revenue for at least ten years, if the amount is lower than 138 million euros.
Vlora airport is projected to have 200,000 passengers annually.
The airport in Vlora will be the third in the country. Currently only one airport is operational in Albania, in the capital Tirana, that is operated by a Chinese consortium, while Kukes airport in the country’s north is dysfunctional.