thomasphoto60
Posts: 3885
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:43 am

This country has fascinated me for many years. I have wondered for some time what air service existed (if any) in Albania during the rule of Enver Hoxa's xenophobic, Stalinist policies from the 40s to the late 80s. Did Albania during this era have a flag or domestic carrier. What services and cities were flown to and from Tirana ?

I thought I had read somewhere that THY had a service from Istanbul or Ankara in the 70s as well as a JAT flight from BEG during this time as well. Thouogh I can find no evidence of these flights.

I am sure some of our more intrepid forum members may be able to provide some answers.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
Alessandro
Posts: 4961
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 3:13 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Fri Jan 25, 2002 6:44 am

I know that Sweden had charter trips during the 1950ies
to Albania by plane (my grandparents saved a newspaper from the death of Josef Dishigvili, nicknamed
Stalin and I read some adds for chartertrips to Albania). I think PRC (peoples rep of China) built some hotels in Albania and some charter trips where held during the 1970ies as well from Sweden/Denmark....
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
vfw614
Posts: 3593
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Fri Jan 25, 2002 5:36 pm

The communist-era Albanian airline was Albtransport. It is reported to have operated sporadic flights to destinations outside Albania until early 1960. Later it obviously never appeared anywhere in Europe. In 1974, it had 2 AN2, 3 IL12 and 3 IL14 in its inventory. In jp airline fleets Albtransport appears for the first time in the late 1980s with the three IL14, aircraft of 1958-1960 vintage (in detail, one Ilyushin 14, one VEB-Ilyushin 14 and one Avia 14). Obviously the aircraft were Air Force owned an leased by Albtransport when required.

After WWII, Air France, Alitalia and Aeroflot are reported to have served Tirana. I suspect that Air France and Alitalia withdrew sometime in the early 1950s and Aeroflot after Albania left the COMECON system in 1962.

For 1963, I have confirmed flights from Tirana by JAT to Belgrade, by CSA to Prague (via Belgrade) and by Malev to Budapest (via Belgrade).

In 1967, Interflug inaugurated a Belgrade-Berlin SXF service.

By 1975, CSA had disappeared but CAAC had inaugurated a weekly Bucarest-Tehran-Beijing service (did you know that Tirana was in fact CAAC’s first European destination…!)

In 1980, there were weekly flights to Berlin (IF IL18), Budapest (MA IL18) and Beijing (CAAC B707) and twice weekly flights to Belgrade (JAT DC9-30).

I have no information about the 1980s with the exception that Interflug had Tirana still in its schedule in 1985.

Never seen THY flights mentioned although I seem to remember that they were among the first to inaugurate services to Tirana in the 1990s.
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3885
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 10:30 am

Thanks Alessandro and Vfw614 for all of that valuable information. All of it was very useful and answered many questions.

A special thanks goes out to Stamatios Krykos for his personal e-mail informing me of Olympic's service via Ioannina (IOA).

In short, the route was started in the early 70s with an YS-11, later on in the 80s service alterned between the YS-11 and a 737-200. The service to Tirane is now running between Thessaloniki(SKG) with a mixture of 737s and ATR-72s.

BTW, Stamatios asked me to post this as he is not able to become a forum member due to the recent ceasing of accepting new members by A.Net.

Again thanks guys, I really apperciate it.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
AIR757200
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 11:04 am


I never thought they had an airline until 1995, or 1998 when I saw a TU-154 ( I can't remember). In 1995, flew a Alitalia DC-9 into TIA (the house and a road) then in 1998, flew in on MALEV F-70 (rerouted from Podgroica) and they at least had a new runway and taxi/tarmac.

TIA.. what an experience.. and we are all complaining about our airports?

AIR757200
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3885
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 11:26 am

I would love to see some pics of TIA today as well as during the Communist era....yeah I know pics of TIA from that era is a long shot, but hey someone posted some pics of the ramp at Pyongyang, NK (now that takes guts!) early last year, so I guess anything is possible!

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
LoneStarMike
Posts: 2804
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 12:04 pm

There's a few pictures of the airport taken in 1999 on this website:

http://www.ecn.cz/slunecnice/pictures/TIRairport/TIRairport1.html

There was also an article about the airport in USA Today 3 years ago.

At the Tirana Air Base
05/01/1999

http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/kosovo/kirk029.htm

LoneStarMike

 
vfw614
Posts: 3593
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 8:19 pm

In the post-communsist era Albanian Airlines was founded as a joint venture of Albtransport and Tyrolean Airlines in 1992; they operated one of Tyroelans DH8-100 (OE-LLI). Don't know about their routes which, I guess, must have included VIE because of the VO involvement. I think they disappared in 1994/5.

Then there was another Albanian Airlines founded in 1995 with Kuwaiti money which was supposed to start ops with a leased Eygpt A320. In the end they started with Hemus Air TU134s before they changed to an ex Malmö Aviation BAe 146-200 last year (also operated by Hemus Air).

I think the first Albanian airline in the post-communist era was small airline ADA Air which started with a Bandeirante in 1991 and has added some Yak40s over the years.


Btw, was the OA service Athens-Ioanina-Tirana ?
 
vfw614
Posts: 3593
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sat Jan 26, 2002 8:24 pm

One addition, most of my information is from a fascinating book about civil aviation in the COMECON countries which dates back from 1980. It is a very thourough academic research on the subject but with very little information about Albania as this was at that time de facto no more a COMECON country and provided no data. The study does not mention flights from Tirana to Greece so I wonder if these lfights indeed started after 1980.
 
airways1
Posts: 536
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 1999 3:05 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:10 am

There sure is an airline called ADA Air and here is a old copy of their timetable:



In those days, they only flew to Bari, Italy.

There is also Albanian Airlines, which at one point did operate the A320. Here is their timetable:



airways1

 
vfw614
Posts: 3593
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:23 am

airways1

interesting stuff - I just checked again. The Airbus A320 was leased from Shorouk Air between 9.95 and 9.96. After that they switched to Hemus Air equipment for five years before the BAe 146 was leased.
 
vfw614
Posts: 3593
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Albanian Air Service (60s-80s)

Sun Jan 27, 2002 12:30 am

Just found this, not sure if it is current but gives an impression how traffic at Tirana airport is nowadays:

http://albaniagoto.virtualave.net/travel/orare.html

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