The new airport of Kukes called “Zayed Flatrat e Veriut” (Zayed Northern Wings), located in northeast Albania, was inaugurated on Sunday with the maiden flight taking place on 18 April from the UK to Rinas airport and then to Kukes.
The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama clarified Sunday's flight with "Air Albania" with the emigrants of London, and the landing in Rinas to fly later to Kukës.
Rama said that every airport operation starts as a local, and then a verification procedure is needed to become international, which takes 50-60 days.
"We flew from Tirana to Kukës, because according to the rules, every operational airport starts as a local, and there is a procedure to become international that takes 50-60 days. Once the certification is done, the agreements will be done during these weeks. There is great interest. It will give opportunities to this whole area, not only to Albania, then immediately a movement will start that will grow," Rama said on Sunday.
The airport was designed and built on the basis of the concept to serve the Albanian lands, such as Albania, Kosovo, but also North Macedonia and Montenegro. Kukes Airport will be dedicated to low cost companies, which offer quality services at low prices. Kukes Airport has a territory of 512 thousand square meters, with a runway length of 1900 meters and a width of 45 meters. Its category is 3C, for the accommodation of turboprop aircraft and aircraft with regional turbines. The projected capacity is about 1 million passengers per year.
Minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku, who was part of the maiden flight, said in a post on FB on Saturday that employees of the airport will be from the local area (Kukes) with the exception of technical staff.
Balluku announced that the government will sign the contract for the construction of the Vlora Airport on 20 April.