- TIA passenger figures down by 8.4 percent
- Officials state that the decrease in numbers is due to the global financial crisis
Passenger numbers at Tirana International Airport (TIA) fell by 8.4 percent in 2012. This is the first annual decline in passenger traffic recorded at the airport as the euro zone crisis hit air travel and businesses, airport officials said. Last year, 1,665,331 passengers flew from TIA compared to 1,817,073 passengers in 2011.
Meanwhile, Air Traffic Movements (ATMs) were down 10.7 percent compared to 2011, while cargo demand, a monitored indicator of the health of the economy, fell by 14.9 percent.
“It must be emphasized that 2011 was an exceptional year, due mainly to the boost in passenger figures following the visa liberalization, and we were well aware that such growth would not have been repeated in 2012,” said Ms Andrea Gebbeken, TIA Chief Executive Officer. “Compared to 2010 - the year before the visa liberalization took effect - we have seen a growth of 8 percent,” she added.
In 2012, the airlines carrying most passengers to and from Tirana were Belle Air (50.1%), Alitalia (9.6%), Air One (9.6%), Austrian Airlines (8.1%) and Turkish Airlines (5.5%). Currently, twelve airlines fly in to and out of TIA, connecting the Albanian capital directly with 32 destinations. The most frequented ones as final destination or transfer points were Rome, Milan, Vienna, London and Pisa.
“Despite the moderation in passenger numbers, we remain positive about the Airport’s achievements so far and those yet to come. We are engaged in securing the highest standards for our passengers and a healthy environment for all those who fly through our airport and all those who live nearby,” Ms Gebbeken said.