17 SEPTEMBER 2018
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The maiden flight of Air Albania, the country’s first national airline company, a joint venture with Turkey's flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), took place last Friday (14 September).
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Turkey's ambassador to Tirana Murat Ahmet Yörük and Albanian ministers as well as officials from Turkish Airlines 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 [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan," Rama added.
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.
Air Albania currently operates a single 160-seat one class Airbus A319.
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