Cobalt: Cypriot budget airline goes bust

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 20, 2018

Cobalt started operations in 2016 and meant to fill the void left by Cyprus Airways at Larnaca and quickly rose to become the second largest airline at Larnaca Airport.

Cobalt Air, which has services from Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick, announced its suspending operations with immediate effect and told passengers not to turn up at the airport on Thursday morning.

"Therefore, flights coming or the services provided by Cobalt will be cancelled", she said, without giving an explanation.

"We sincerely apologise once again and would like to thank our very loyal customers for their support over the last two years of Cobalt operations", it added.

Cobalt Air Chairman Grigoris Diakos said the airline ceased operations after its backers halted financing and a search for new investors led nowhere.

The news comes just weeks after holidaymakers were left in the lurch with the collapse of Primera Air, and a year after Monarch airlines went into administration.

According to Economy Today, the airline only has €15 Million on their account, which will be used to pay employees and workers.

Cypriot transport minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou said alternative arrangements would be made for passengers booked with the airline.

There was speculation that it was facing cash-flow problems after two of its aircraft were grounded for two days.

In its press release, the company, which has apologised, has reported that, in order to be reimbursed, the passengers should contact their credit card provider or travel agency.

Airport authorities said there was no panic in the departures hall, with passengers appearing to have stayed away after learning about the airline's fate and the flight cancelations.

Before 2016, short-haul flights out of Cyprus were dominated by state-controlled Cyprus Airways.

"We feel the need to help passengers who are stranded either in Cyprus or overseas and want to return to their place of residence", Cyprus' Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou told reporters.

It is not yet clear how many passengers have been affected by the sudden shutdown.

The airline's largest shareholder is AJ Cyprus, with 49 percent of the shares.

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