Wizz Air expands Tirana base

A fourth aircraft is to be stationed at Wizz Air’s Tirana base, enabling the launch of six new routes from Albania.

The additional aircraft, which joins the fleet at Tirana International Airport (TIA) on May 28, will allow the Hungarian ULCC to start two routes to Sweden and four to destinations in Italy.

The cities being added to the airline’s network from TIA are Malmö (MMX) and Stockholm-Skavsta (NYO) in Sweden, and Ancona (AOI), Pescara (PSR), Genoa (GOA) and Rome Ciampino (CIA) in Italy.

Wizz opened the base in Albania’s capital in July 2020, initially launching 15 routes to eight countries. The carrier said the latest expansion would increase capacity from TIA by 500,000 seats per year.

“The Wizz team is devoted to developing its presence in Albania, and with our biggest ever network of 27 routes from Tirana, we offer ever more affordable travel opportunities,” CCO George Michalopoulos said.

TIA CCO Volker Wendefeuer added: “This new development gives us the opportunity to reach more destinations in Europe on a regular basis, hopefully after the pandemic times will allow all of us to travel.”

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Wizz Air’s history in Albania dates back four years when the first flight landed in April 2017 from Budapest (BUD). The airline has carried more than 650,000 passengers to and from the country since then and expects to offer in excess of 1.2 million across its TIA network in 2021.

Flights to MMX and CIA will each be 3X-weekly from May 14, rising to 5X-weekly from May 28. NYO starts on May 15 and will be 2X-weekly, while Wizz will serve PSR twice a week from May 28. TIA-GOA begins June 1 and TIA-AOI on June 4, both of which will be 2X-weekly.

Earlier this week, flydubai also announced plans to launch a route to TIA from March 28, 2021, becoming the first United Arab Emirates-based airline to offer a nonstop regular service to Albania. The route from Dubai International (DXB) will operate 2X-weekly.

“The start of direct flights between Dubai and Tirana provides a more convenient travel option for Albanian citizens living in the UAE and for the many visitors who choose to visit our country for leisure, business or as a connection hub,” Albania’s ambassador to the UAE Ermal Dredha said.

“This new bridge will enable more people to discover the beauty of Albania in the heart of the Balkan and Mediterranean region.”

Photo credit: Tirana International Airport

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.