London Southend Airport

New Route of the Day (3 April 2022): Air Albania between Tirana and Düsseldorf

DUS - TIA

Air Albania (IATA code ZB) began 3-weekly service between Tirana and Düsseldorf on Sunday 3 April. The 1,480-kilometre route between the Albanian capital and Germany’s fourth busiest airport will be flown on Mondays, Fridays and Sundays. The airline currently has two aircraft according to planespotters.net, one A319 (registration ZA-BEL) and one A320 (ZA-BBC), with both aircraft leased from Turkish Airlines. According to Cirium schedule data, local rival Albawings also connects the two airports. However, although Düsseldorf appears on the airline’s website ‘route map’, flights are not currently bookable. The airline started flying the route in June 2019.

Competition from Eurowings in peak summer period

Back in the summer of 2019, Eurowings also started flights between the two airports, but only 2-weekly during July and August. While the pandemic meant the service was suspended in 2020, according to Cirium data flights returned in July and August of 2021 and are also set to operate 2-weekly between 28 June and 26 August this coming summer.

10 international routes from Tirana this summer

Apart from this new route to Germany, Air Albania offers flights from Tirana to six destinations in Italy (Bologna, Milan BGY, Milan MXP, Pisa, Rome FCO and Verona) as well as Athens, Istanbul IST and London STN. The Athens and London STN routes were both launched on 27 March 2022. As all of the Italian sectors are under 1,000 kilometres, the airline is able to schedule up to eight sectors per day on the two aircraft. Data from flightradar24.com for w/c 4 April 2022 reveals what the aircraft did each day:

Airbus A319 (ZA-BEL):

Athens International Airport
  • Mon 4/4: TIA – IST – TIA – IST – TIA – FCO – TIA
  • Tue 5/4: TIA – IST – TIA – MXP – TIA – PSA – TIA
  • Wed 6/4: TIA – IST – TIA – VRN – TIA
  • Thu 7/4: TIA – MXP – TIA – PSA – TIA
  • Fri 8/4: TIA – IST – TIA – IST – FCO – IST
  • Sat 9/4: TIA – KFZ – ZRH – KFZ – BSL – KFZ – TIA – IST – TIA
  • Sun 10/4: TIA – IST – TIA – BLQ – TIA – ATH – TIA – IST

Airbus A320 (ZA-BBC):

  • Mon 4/4: MXP – TIA – IST – TIA – MXP
  • Tue 5/4: MXP – TIA
  • Wed 6/4: TIA – FCO – TIA – MXP – TIA – BLQ – TIA – BGY
  • Thu 7/4: BGY – TIA – IST – TIA – BLQ – TIA
  • Fri 8/4: TIA – DUS – TIA – STN – TIA – BLQ – TIA
  • Sat 9/4: TIA – IST – TIA – MXP – TIA – BGY – TIA – VRN – TIA
  • Sun 10/4: TIA – DUS – TIA – MXP – TIA

This results in some sectors being flown very early in the morning. For example, the Verona to Tirana service on Saturday night actually departs Verona at 01:55 on Sunday morning arriving back in the Albanian capital at 03:55.

Apart from the flights to and from Tirana, the schedule also has the aircraft flying to Albania’s new second international airport at Kukes (IATA code KFZ) to operate flights to Basel and Zurich in Switzerland.

IATA Slot Conference 155