Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines may give technical assistance to the Albanian government in setting up its own national carrier, Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama announced at a May 9 joint press conference in Tirana, Albania.

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi confirmed to ATW there has been some discussion on the project, but “there is no board decision yet.”

Prime Minister Rama was not able to give a deadline, but said he hoped flights under the new national carrier would start within a year.

Albania is located in Southeastern Europe. Albawings is the nation’s single carrier that operates one Boeing 737-500, according to its website.

Turkish ended an airline partnership in the Balkan region with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s B&H Airlines (JA) by disposing of its 49% stake in the carrier in 2012. Turkish became a JA shareholder in December 2008, when it took a 49% stake from the Bosnia and Herzegovina government as part of a recapitalization of the airline.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at