Kukes airport entrance

Kukes airport’s impact on regional aviation market

Albania’s second international airport of Kukes will lower ticket prices for flights in and out of the country.

Krislen Keri, former head of the Civil Aviation Authority says so, Top Channel TV reports. The airport has all the capacities to become competitive in the region by attracting low-cost carriers, he adds.

“Based on the demand of Albania and Kosovo’s markets, including elements such as the demographics of the diaspora, the ticket prices from Tirana are expensive. This is due to the flights’ exclusivity this airport had. Kosovo’s market for flights to Italy is low. Kukes Airport can fulfill both of these requirements. So, low cost carriers can operate from there. This lowers the airport fees that airlines pay,” Krislen Keri says.

Although Gent Beqiri, an expert of economy, positively assesses the investment, he is skeptical about the impact on the economy. He proposes the establishment of domestic lines to promote tourism, as a way to make it as convenient as possible.

“All tourists coming from Kosovo, from North Macedonia (in the Tetovo area), from Kukes can go to Saranda or Vlora by direct flights. We don’t expect a transformative impact. In order to stimulate this, the business plan of the airport needs to be slightly modified with the development of domestic routes and why not turn it into a flight academy. Also small tourist planes can fly and promote tourism as you can create specific packages,” Gent Beqiri says.

New airport in the time of COVID-19

The opening of Albania’s second international airport of Kukes comes at a time when the aviation market has received a major blow from the pandemic. And this for the experts, will also affect its progress. Although they estimate that as a new airport, it needs time to be recognized on the map of international airports.

Read more: Albania opens its second international airport in Kukes

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