Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza (Albanian: Aeroporti Ndërkombëtar i Tiranës Nënë Tereza, IATA: TIA, ICAO: LATI) is currently Albania's only international airport. It is commonly known as Rinas International Airport, as it is located in the village of Rinas 6 nautical miles (11 kilometres; 6.9 miles) northwest of Tirana. The airport was named in 2001, after the Albanian Roman Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa.
The airport is one of the busiest airport in the Balkans, handling nearly 2.2 million passengers in 2016. It offers international connections primarily within Europe. It serves as a hub for local carrier Albawings and as a focus city for Alitalia, Adria Airways, Blue Panorama Airlines and Mistral Air.
Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza was constructed during a period of two years, from 1955 to 1957. However, Tirana had commercial airline services before. As early as 1938, Yugoslav carrier Aeroput introduced regular commercial flights linking Tirana with Belgrade with a landing in Dubrovnik. With the fall of communism in Albania in 1991, and subsequent liberalization of travel restrictions abroad for Albanians, the number of airlines operating at the airport increased.
The air traffic equipment and facilities of the airport have been heavily modernised following investments by Tirana International Airport SHPK, a consortium led by Hochtief AirPort. Hochtief assumed management of the airport on 23 April 2005, for a 20-year concession period.
The concession included the construction of a completely new passenger terminal and various infrastructure improvements, among them the construction of a new access road, new parking lots, and a bridge over the old airport access road. The expansion resulted in an increased number of passengers per annum, estimated at 1.5M passengers for 2009. The number of passengers effectively increased to more than 1.5M in 2010. The Terminal building and its second expansion, the Cargo building, its landscaping and carpark canopies was designed by Malaysian Architect Hin Tan of Hintan Associates.
In 2016, the Government of Albania reached an agreement with Tirana International Airport on ending its monopoly on flights, opening the way for an airport at Kukës in the north to open.
In December 2016 the Airport announced that it has served 2 million passengers during 2016, reaching its second milestone.
The following companies were the owners of the Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza until 2016:47% AviAlliance
31.7% German Investment Corporation
21.3% Albanian-American Enterprise Fund
After the Government of Albania reached an agreement with the Airport on ending its monopoly on flights, the airport was sold to China Everbright Limited, a company specialized in asset management, direct investment, brokerage and investment banking.
The following airlines operate scheduled, seasonal and charter flights out of Tirana
The airport is linked with motorway SH60 (10 km away) to SH2 Durres -Tirana access road. Taxis and car rental facilities are available at the airport. Taxis are available at the airport. The journey from Tirana to the airport takes 20–25 minutes, depending on traffic.
Rinas Express airport bus, located outside Arrivals terminal, leaves on the hour every hour (8am to 7pm), to the city centre, and the trip takes around 25 to 30 minutes. Rinas Express operates 12 hours (6 am to 6 pm) as an hourly bus service between the Airport and the National Museum in the centre of Tirana. The single fare is 250 Albanian Lek. From Durres the rate for a single fare is 480 Albanian Lek.October 3, 2006: Turkish Airlines Flight 1476, flying from Tirana to Istanbul, was hijacked by Hakan Ekinci in Greek airspace. The aircraft, with 107 passengers and six crew on board, transmitted two coded hijack signals which were picked up by the Greek air force; the flight was intercepted by military aircraft and landed safely at Brindisi, Italy.
June 30, 2016: Three armed and masked people entered the cargo terminal, where they robbed a huge amount of money that were to be transported abroad on airplanes. The amount of cash could be up to 3 million euros. The incident caused national security concerns.