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Vlora Airport

According to projections, Vlora airport will have a flow of 600,000 passengers per year.

Vlora airport, dedicated to transporting people and goods, will be superior to Rinas airport in Tirana in size and even more modern.

In addition, the construction of the new Vlora airport will give a new impetus to the development of the seaside area of Vlora and South Albania, with a progressive increase in the number of tourists and the revaluation of the real estate market for holiday homes by the sea.

A new impetus will also be given to trade relations with Italy - which will become closer than ever to the southern Albanian coast - and to new investment opportunities in the tourism sector and trade in general.

Vlora Airport. Officially opens the tender for the 2020 construction site

The Albanian government opened the tender for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and relocation of Vlora International Airport in December 2019.

As also reported by the Albanian economic magazine Monitor, according to the Albanian government itself when issuing the call for tenders, the entire apparatus revolving around Vlora airport is expected to cost about 87 million euros.

This is an ambitious but high-risk project. This has committed the government to guarantee a minimum income to the concessionaire who will win the tender. Basically, having opened an international tender, Albania has highlighted a level of profits which, theoretically, should be the minimum obtainable by those who will manage the airport. It is a penalty, for the Albanian coffers, to make up the difference.

According to the accounts presented in the draft tender, the guaranteed basic profits for the first 10 years of operation will be 9.6 million euros in the fourth year, 10.3 million euros in the fifth year, 11.2 million euros in the sixth year, 12.1 million euros in the seventh year and so on, with a peak of 18.6 million euros in the thirteenth year since the contract was signed. In total, the guaranteed income is expected to be around EUR 138 million.

Many people have wondered whether it would be cheaper to have a concession on a contract or, an alternative discarded in the past, to build and run everything with Albanian funds.

Starting from the same initial conditions, i.e. an operation cost of EUR 87 million over a 10-year period, the Albanian State could obtain a loan, at the current rate, of 3%. The total to be paid would, at the end of the decade, be 101 million euros, with a total interest of 14 million euros.

The total is a good €37 million less than the expenditure commitment resulting from the project to grant the airport to outsiders.

At this stage, the first option has prevailed. Concession to an external party with a 100% guarantee provided by the Albanian State budget.

Many reservations have been expressed about this decision. The risks of the airport project are very high. The entire structure is built from scratch, in a green field, and it is impossible to quantify the flight traffic it may have, because, materially, there is no historical database that can support the risk of a minimal forecast.

In money, if you can not have a minimum number of flights passing through Vlora, you can not get to an economic figure related to the receipts.

In spite of this, the formal commitment made by the Albanian coffers to act as guarantor for the concessionaire has, at least for the time being, dispelled the uncertainties.

The work, according to the charter, should last 3 years, while the fourth year will be used for all the tests and obtain the relevant certifications. It will start on May 31, 2020, with the laying of the first brick with the forecast to have the first official flight from Vlora in 2024.


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