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Albania’s govt approves choice of Kukes airport concessionaire

Albania’s govt approves choice of Kukes airport concessionaire Kukes Airport/All Rights Reserved

TIRANA (Albania), March 20 (SeeNews) – Albania's government has endorsed the infrastructure ministry's choice of a concessionaire of Kukes airport, infrastructure minister Belinda Balluku said on Wednesday.

The joint venture comprising Albanian-registered companies Global Technical Mechanics and Bami has been declared winner in the tender for reconstruction, operation and maintenance of Kukes airport with its offer to invest around 8 million euro ($9.1 million), Balluku said in statement.

The proposed term of the concession contract will be 35 years. The project for reconstruction of the airport in Kukes, in northeastern Albania, must be completed witin 24 months.

The airport is planned to initially employ around 220 people, Balluku said. It is expected to handle around 300,000 passengers a year in the first years of operation.

The Kukes airport has attracted increased interest from some low-cost airlines such as Wizz Air, easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling and Pegasus, Balluku noted.

The joint venture, the sole participant in the tender for the Kukes airport concession, will be supported in the project by Dutch-based NACO Airport Consultancy and Engineering which has experience in airport management and administration, the infrastructure ministry said in January.

The airport in Kukes will become operational by the autumn of 2019, prime minister Edi Rama said in November last year. The project for the reconstruction of airport envisages the extension of the runway and an upgrade of the terminal building. The airport will mainly service flights of low-cost carriers.

Currently, Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa is Albania's only operational airport.

The Albanian government has already started negotiations with a Turkish consortium for the construction of an airport near the southwestern port city of Vlora, an investment estimated at 100 million euro, following the approval of the project by the Albanian parliament in February.

($ = 0.88103 euro)

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