Kukes airport has no flights, the loss for 1 year amounts to 1.5 million euros

2023-09-27 08:26:27Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Kukes Airport

There are no more flights at Kukes airport. You can clearly confirm this from the website of this airport itself, where departures and arrivals result in no flights both on the current day and for the next day.

This is an extremely different situation in relation to Tirana airport where, as a result of tourism, the frequency of flights has been extremely high.

While the touristic interest in the country remains high, the lack of flights from Kukësi shows that the challenge of attracting operators to this airport, where Air Albania and Wizz Air previously operated flights, is ahead.

The concession for Kukes airport, as it was warned earlier, seems not to be very feasible. Given for a term of 35 years, this concession has recorded a loss of 159 million ALL or about 1.5 million euros (1 euro = 107 ALL) in 2022.

This loss increased by 1.5 times compared to the loss recorded in 2021 according to data from the balance sheet reported by the company to the National Business Center. The income from the first secondary activity was 79 million ALL or about 743 thousand euros. The latter have increased by 1.2 times compared to the previous year 2021.

Until December 2022, 77 employed people were reported at the airport, a staff with an increase compared to the end of 2021 when 69 were reported.

The remaining value of the concession on December 31, 2022 is ALL 1.73 billion with an increase compared to 2021 when ALL 1.51 billion was reported.

As the opening of a second airport was deemed very important by the government, thus justifying the concession over time, Kukësi was told that it would only be a seasonal airport. And in fact, the flights that have been carried out have often stopped and restarted, but of course the frequency of flights or the number of operators has not increased, raising questions about the long-term performance of this public-private partnership and its return to a profitable airport.

At the end of this year, another low cost operator is expected to arrive in the country, but its presence has been confirmed for Tirana, from where it will operate in several destinations.

Kukes airport concession

In March 2019, the Council of Ministers approved the concession contract for Kukes Airport. The tendering procedure was carried out in December 2018 and the winner was the temporary merger of the companies Global Technical Mechanics sh.pk (already owns 100% of the shares). and Bami sh.pk. The duration of the concession is 35 years, while the duration of the works and the commissioning period is 24 months. The value of the rehabilitation was around 8 million euros. Flights from Kukes airport officially started in July 2021 with several destinations, first Switzerland and then from London.