Current Aircraft Inventory
Albanian Air Force

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
Agusta A109C 1 1 0 Utility
Agusta-Bell AB205A-1 5 3 0 Utility
Agusta-Bell AB206C-1 7 5 0 Utility
MBB Bo 105M 8 8 0 Utility
Eurocopter EC145 1 1 2 Liaison

Thanks to Andy Cela for help with updating this page.

Albania Key Dates

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.

Albania National History


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.

Thanks to Andy Cela for updating this information.

Albania

Country Profile

The Country

Geography

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.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Albanian History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Albania
Yahoo Albania page
wikipedia: Albania
wikipedia: History of Albania

Aviation

Text to be added on the development of aviation in Albania.

Markings

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.

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Air Force (Albanian Air Force)

Central Government Agencies

None known.

Public Service Aviation

Medical Aviation (Ministry of Health Aviation Unit)
Police Aviation (Interior Ministry)

Commercial Aviation

(No civil aviation permitted until after 1990).
Ada Air
Albanian Airlines
BelleAir

wikipedia: Airlines of Albania
The World’s Airlines: Albania

Private Aviation

To be added.

Industry

Aircraft Manufacturers

None at present

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Airfields

Civil Airports & Airfields

Rinas-Tiranë Airport
Airports in Albania

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing

On Show

Aviation Museums

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.

Airshow Dates

Key Airshow Dates

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

‘Ushtria’ (The Army) is published by the Minstry of Defence for the Albanian armed forces.

Aviation Bibliography

Albania Aviation Bibliography – to be added

Web Links

Complete Civil Rotorcraft Register of Albania

Thanks to Andy Cela for updating this information.