Air Albania’s commercial activity is suspended following the failure to declare beneficial owners – Exit
Air Albania, the national airline, has been suspended by the National Business Center for failing to declare ultimate beneficial owners in accordance with Albanian law.
Changes to business laws in the country to prevent money laundering mean that the ultimate beneficial owners of any business must be registered with the authorities. Air Albania, however, failed to do so and was suspended effective September 1 until a fine was paid and data submitted.
The law “On the register of beneficial owners” provides that all reporting entities had until June 30, 2021 to register the information, but this was extended until June 30, 2022, which means that the airline had enough time to comply.
According to the law, the fine to be paid is 600,000 lek, or 5,000 euros.
Air Albania was established in 2018 as a public-private partnership project, comprising a Turkish state-owned company, an Albanian state-owned company and a private company.
The Turkish partner is Turk Hava Yollari AO, otherwise known as Turkish Airlines. It is mainly owned by the Turkish government, which owns 49.12% of its shares, while 50.88% is listed on the stock exchange.
Albcontrol sha is owned by the Albanian government through the Ministry of Finance and Economy and manages Albanian airspace in accordance with international air navigation standards.
MDN Investment shpk is a private company that was established on May 7, 2018, nine days before the government decree that made it a shareholder of Air Albania. The seed capital of the company is around €100,000 and was 100% owned by Sinan Idrizi.
In June 2020, Idrizi faced Turkish courts for embezzlement involving $3.5 million related to the deal, but he was acquitted in November of the same year. Idriza transferred the shares to Ajada Idrizi and Rejana Idrizi in 2018.
Turkish prosecutors demand up to 10 years in prison for the CEO of the main shareholder of Air Albania
The airline also had problems obtaining its EASA authorization, allowing it to fly in the EU. In response, Air Albania chose to wet lease aircraft from Turkish Airlines, allowing them to operate flights to the EU under the license of the Turkish airline. He finally obtained his approval in May 2020.
In its latest round of issuances, it was also found that it had only submitted to authorities its 2018 balance sheet, which shows no activity, while those for 2019 and 2020 were not submitted. This is another violation of the law, as the submission deadline has passed. As for 2021, they have until September 15 to submit them.