Click on aircraft type for more details
|Aircraft Type||Total Del’d||Total Active||Still on Order||Role|
|Aerospatiale AS 532 Cougar||4||4||0||Transport|
|MBB Bo 105M||8||8||0||Utility|
|c 300 BC||Coastal region dominated by Greek colonies.|
|100 AD||Roman influence dominates the area.|
|395 AD||Albania falls under the control of the Byzantine Empire.|
|c. 1000||Venetians colonise the region.|
|1082||A Norman army invades Albania.|
|1272||The King of Naples is proclaimed King of the territory.|
|1346-1355||Albania becomes part of a short-lived Serbian empire under Stephan Dushan.|
|1444-66||The Albanian Prince Skanderberg leads an alliance of Albanian princes to successfully repulse 13 Ottoman Turkish invasions.|
|1468||Skanderberg dies. The alliance of Princes breaks up and Albania soon succumbs to another Turkish invasion.|
|1478||Albania incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Most of the population converts to Islam.|
|1877||Russian victory in the Russian-Turkish War results in most of Albanian teritory being handed to other Balkan nations under Treaty of San Stefano.|
|1878||Congress of Berlin revises the settlement of 1877.|
|1878-1881||First nationalist group, the Albanian League, is formed to oppose any partitioning of the country. The group resorts to force but is crushed by the Ottoman Turks.|
|1912||Albanian territory is conquered by the Balkan League in the First Balkan War.|
|28 November 1912||Albania declares independence from the Ottoman Empire, but is still under occupation by its neighbours.|
|30 May 1913||Treaty of London confirms Albania’s independence.|
|29 July 1913||Sovereign state of Albania officially recognised.|
|June-July 1913||Serbia occupies Albania during Second Balkan War.|
|7 March 1914||Prince William of Wied arrives to become first king of modern Albania.|
|3 September 1914||King William abdicates amidst severe internal unrest.|
|1915-1916||Albania is occupied by numerous armies during WW1, but Italy later gains control of the region.|
|25 December 1918||Albanians form a provisional government.|
|1919||Italy is awarded a mandate over Albania by Paris Peace Conference.|
|July 1920||Italian occupation forces withdraw after armed clashes with Albanians.|
|1920||Albania joins the League of Nations.|
|9 November 1921||Albanian borders confirmed in Conference of Ambassadors.|
|1922-1924||A series of revolts and uprisings eventually lead to Ahmed Zogu becoming head of government.|
|23 January 1925||Albania proclaimed a republic.|
|1925||President Zogu arranges economic assistance from Italy.|
|1 September 1928||President Zogu proclaimed King Zog I.|
|7 April 1939||Italy invades and occupies Albania. King Zog is exiled.|
|1940||Italian forces in Albania invade Greece.|
|1941||Royalist and Communist partisan forces begin to oppose Italian occupation.|
|1943||German troops occupy Albania after Italy surrenders to the Allies.|
|November 1944||Communist partisans capture Tiranë. Provisional government under Enver Hoxha established.|
|11 January 1946||Albania proclaimed a People’s Republic (Republika Popullare Socialiste e Shqipërisë).|
|1948||Close ties established with the USSR.|
|1949||Close ties with Yugoslavia ended.|
|May 1955||Albania joins the Warsaw Pact upon its foundation.|
|December 1961||Albania severs all ties with the USSR and allies itself with communist China.|
|1968||Albania withdraws from the Warsaw Pact after the invasion of Czechoslovakia.|
|1974-78||Albania falls out with new Chinese leadership|
|July 1978||Chinese economic aid ends.|
|11 April 1985||Enver Hoxha dies.|
|19 December 1990||First opposition political party formed.|
|31 March 1991||First multi-party elections.|
|1991||People’s Socialist Republic of Albania offically renamed the Republic of Albania.|
|22 March 1992||Non-communist government elected.|
|19 January 1997||Failure of pyramid investment scheme cases widespread revolt.|
|March 1997||Governement loses control of large parts of the country.|
|mid-April 1997||OSCE peacekeeping forces arrive to help restore order.|
|June 1997||Coalition government elected to reform the economy.|
|March 1999||Serb attacks in Kosovo cause thousands of refugees to flee into Albania.|
|8 April 1999||NATO announces operation Allied Harbour to help refugee aid efforts in Albania.|
|22 April 1999||First NATO troops arrive to help with relief operations.|
|May 1999||Serbian forces in Kosovo make repeated incursions into Albania – several Albanian civilians are killed.|
Prior to the Roman invasion in the second century BC, the present territory of Albania was home to the Illyrian tribes, an Indo-European people. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west, Albania came under the control of the Byzantine Empire and later of Bulgaria and Serbia.
During the late 14th century, the Ottoman Turks invaded the Balkans and made repeated attempts to conquer Albania. However, fierce resistance by an alliance of Albanian Princes – led by Prince Skanderberg – held the Turks back for over twenty years. It wasn’t until after Skanderberg’s death in 1468 that Albania was finally incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.
Ottoman rule lasted for nearly 500 years, and during this time the vast majority of the Albanian population adopted a Turkish way of life and converted to Islam.
Albanian nationalism was reborn after the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-78, when the proposed peace settlement offered large parts of Albanian territory to Russia’s allies in the Balkans. The Albanian League was formed to oppose any territorial division, but was crushed by Turkish troops in 1881.
In 1912, the remaining part of Albania was occupied by troops from Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro during the First Balkan War. On 28 November 1912, Albania officially declared independence from the Ottoman Empire, although it was still under occupation. In 1913, Albania’s independence was confirmed, although it’s borders were redefined to cede significant portions of territory to Montenegro, Serbia and Greece.
During the First World War, Albania was occupied by various of the warring powers, with Italy (on the side of the Allies) gaining control by 1917. In 1919 Italy as given a mandate for ruling Albania by the Paris Peace Conference, but this ruling was vigorously opposed by the Albanians and in July 1920 the Italians withdrew. Albania joined the League of Nations later that year.
In 1922, Ahmed Bey Zogu became premier, but he soon had to face a series of revolts and uprisings challenging his leadership. Zogu eventually restored control and on 25 January 1925 Albania was proclaimed a republic, with Zogu being elected President on 1 February 1925. In the same year, Zogu initiated the first of a series of financial loans from Italy, which were to lead to Albania’s growing financial dependence on Italy. On 1 September 1928, Ahmed Zogu declared himself King Zog I.
The Italians invaded Albania on 7 April 1939, before the start of World War 2, and King Zog was exiled. Armed royalist resistance to the Italian occupation began in 1940, but by 1942 this was eclipsed by stronger republican-nationalist and communist partisan forces. Following the collapse of Fascist Italy in 1943, Nazi Germany invaded Albania to prevent it falling into Allied hands. The communist led resistance, with help from the Allies, captured Tiranë from the Germans in November 1944. A hardline Stalinist regime was immediately established under the leadership of Enver Hoxha. This has been described as one of the most paranoid, repressive, puritanical and isolationist dictatorships in Europe.
In January 1946 Albania became a People’s Republic under Soviet sponsorship. Albania joined the Warsaw Pact organisation in May 1955. Relations with the USSR were severed in December 1961, when Albania supported Mao’s China during the Sino-Soviet schism. Soviet aid was replaced by Chinese aid. In September 1968 Albania formally withdrew from the Warsaw Pact. Relations with China were severed in 1977 following a disagreement with the new post-Mao Chinese leadership, bringing an end to all Chinese aid. With no outside support, the feeble Albanian economy rapidly contracted and by 1989 39 per cent of all Albanian children were suffering from malnutrition.
After Hoxha’s death in 1985, power passed to President Ramiz Alia. Political and social reforms were introduced, leading to the formation of the opposition Democratic party in December 1990. The former communists won the first contested multi-party elections in March 1991, but were eventually forced from office by widespread strikes. Fresh elections in March 1992 were decisively won by the Democratic party. By now, Albania’s crumbling collectivist command economy had largely collapsed, with catastrophic human consequences.
In January 1997, widespread rioting was triggered by the collapse of a pyramid-style private investment plan which had attracted huge numbers of desperate Albanians. In March 1997 the country fell into anarchy as protestors took control of the major cities and the government established armed militia units. As civil war loomed, large numbers of Albanians fled the country for better prospects abroad. In mid-April 1997 some 1200 peacekeeping troops from Italy, Spain and France arrived. The peacekeeping mission, a change of government in June 1997 and rapid international aid led to a gradual restoration of order.
In February and March 1999, Albania began to receive the first of many hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the attempted ‘genocide’ in the neighbouring Serbian province of Kosovo. Although poor, the Albanians did their best to look after the newcomers until emergency aid could arrive from NATO and the International Community. The effort re-united the country and it’s efforts were recognised around the world. In mid April 1999 Albania put all it’s ports, airbases and other facilities at the disposal of NATO. NATO forces were now busy conducting relief operations within Albania, in parallel with intensive air strikes on the Serb forces in Kosovo causing the crisis. With the end of the war in June 1999, refugees began to return to their homes in Kosovo. Economic and technical aid aimed at strengthening the Albanian economy began to arrive soon after.
The Republic of Albania is one of the smallest countries on the Balkan Peninsula. It is situated in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula on the south east coast of the Adriatic Sea, opposite the ‘heel’ of Italy. It borders Montenegro to the north, Serbia to the north-east, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south. The country is very mountainous, with some peaks reaching over 8000 feet (2,500 metres) high, bordered by a narrow coastal plain containing about half the population. Much of the land is covered by scrub forest, broken-up by a number of rivers running east-west. It occupies a land area of 28,749 km2 (11,100 sq. miles) and has a population of 3,249,000 inhabitants (1997 estimate). Its population comprises 95% Albanians, 3% Greeks and 2% others. 70% of the population are Moslem, 20% Christian Orthodox and 10% Roman Catholic. The capital city is Tiranë.
Further National Information
Text to be added on the development of aviation in Albania.
Civil Aircraft Registrations
Albania was originally allocated the registration sequence B-Axxx in 1924, but it is not believed to have been used.
After 1945 the registration prefix ‘ZA-‘ was allocated, but under the new communist regime civil aviation was strictly prohibited. There was no national airline and so all flying was done by the air force. Civil registered aircraft did not appear in Albania until the 1990s and the fall of the communist government. An example is Bell 222 ZA-HOV.
No on-line civil aircraft register listing is known.
Military Air Arms
Air Force (Albanian Air Force)
Central Government Agencies
Public Service Aviation
To be added.
None at present
Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots
Civil Airports & Airfields
Airports in Albania
Military Air Bases & Airfields
The National Armoury Museum at Gjirokastra has a USAF Lockheed T-33A which became lost over the Adriatic in the 1950s and was forced to land in Albania.
‘Ushtria’ (The Army) is published by the Minstry of Defence for the Albanian armed forces.
Albania Aviation Bibliography – to be added