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Albania Transportations


Many roads are unsuitable for motor transport; bicycles and donkeys are common. There had been virtually no private cars in the country, but they have become more common since the opening of the borders. In 2002, there were 18,000 km of roads, of which 7,020 km were paved. One of the many recent infrastructural projects was the construction of a 241 km four-lane highway linking Durrës with Greece, via Pogradec and Kapshtica.

Railroad construction began in 1947, and lines in 2006 had a total length of 447 km of standard gauge track. Narrow gauge rail includes the Durrës-Tiranë, Durrës-Elbasan, Ballsh Rrogozhinë, Vorë-Shkodër, and Selenicë-Vlorë lines. In 1979, Albania signed an agreement with the former Yugoslavia to construct a rail link between Shkodër and Titograd; the link was opened to international freight traffic in September 1986.

Albania's rivers are not navigable, but there is some local shipping on lakes Shkodër, Ohrid, and Prespë. Coastwise vessels link the ports of Durrës, Vlorë, Sarandë, and Shëngjin. Durrës is the principal port for foreign trade. The merchant fleet of Albania in 2008 consisted of 24 vessels of 1,000 GRT or over, all of which are cargo ships. A freight ferry service between Durrës and Trieste was inaugurated in 1983.

The construction of 1.2 billion dollar AMBO pipeline will begin in 2007. This will connect the port of Burgas in Bulgaria with the port of Vlora in Albania. It is expected to ship 750,000-1,000,000 barrels of crude oil each day.

In 2007, there were 11 airports, three of which had paved runways. Flights from Tiranë's international airport connect the Albanian capital with Athens, Belgrade, and Switzerland (the latter route opened in June 1986). In 2001, 146,300 passengers were carried on scheduled domestic and international airline flights.

Kukes airport is expected to open in early 2008, making this the second civilian airport in Albania. A local newspaper announced on March 16, 2007 that the Italian government would help rebuild the airport in Gjirkoastra. The airport would be dual functional, both a civilian and military airport. The first phase of construction is expected to start in September 2007. Currently there are two feasibility studies being conducted for airports in Vlora and Korca. The plan for Saranda airport was completed however there is no known investor willing to put in money at the time.


11 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways
total: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2007)

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