Regular flights to and from Tirana International Airport (TIA) will resume on Friday, TIA informed on the social media on Thursday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Via a Facebook post, TIA said that scheduled flights will resume from Friday, citing the Albanian government. On Thursday only “essential” flights — humanitarian, health and diplomatic flights — to and from TIA are carried out.
Operations at TIA, Albania’s only international airport, were suspended on Wednesday as 68 air traffic controllers went on strike over working conditions and pay cuts.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku announced that essential flights, such as humanitarian, emergency, health, diplomatic, state and military, have resumed on Thursday, while commercial flights will start on Friday morning.
The minister did not clarify whether air traffic controllers, who went on strike, have resumed work or they were replaced by foreign controllers.
According to air traffic controllers, it was not a strike, but they claimed that they’ve been “incapable of working under stress” and that for over a year their working conditions have changed and salaries have been cut by 62 percent due to the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Twenty-four air traffic controllers were questioned overnight by Albanian police on suspicion of abuse of post, Tirana Prosecutor’s Office said on Thursday, adding that if they are charged and convicted of abuse of post they could face up to seven years in prison.