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Albania’s Riviera Gateway: Vlora Airport Nears Completion

Vlora International Airport, Albania's newest air hub on the Riviera, is nearing completion, promising to boost tourism with its strategic location and innovative design

Albania is on the brink of enhancing its tourist appeal with the nearing completion of Vlora International Airport, poised to become the nation’s third international gateway. Situated on the picturesque Albanian Riviera, the city of Vlorë, known for its rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, and culinary delights influenced by Italian cuisine, is expected to become even more accessible to international tourists.

Initially announced in 2017, the airport project, spearheaded by Mabetex International with an investment of over £88 million, is set to feature a 1.9-mile runway, a sizable terminal, an operation tower, and a fire brigade building. Despite a slight delay to a 2025 opening, the airport’s infrastructure is anticipated to be complete by the end of this year.

Photo: Belinda Balluku on Facebook

Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku underscored the innovative aspects of the new airport, notably its integration of solar panels to generate 5.2 MWH of renewable energy. Located in Akerni, just north of Vlorë, the airport has overcome significant engineering challenges, including its below-sea-level elevation, through advanced solutions like drainage channels.

With expectations of accommodating over one million passengers in its first nine months of operation, Vlora International Airport is set to significantly shorten travel times to the Albanian Riviera, promising a boost in tourism and local economy.

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