Cobalt Air, Cyprus’ largest carrier, will ground its flights from midnight tonight (Wednesday, 17th October 2018), after reports said it had failed to reach a deal with a major European investor.
Reports have suggested that the company has only €15 million its accounts, which are expected to be used to pay the employees of the company.
The Cypriot Transport Minister, Vasiliki Anastasiadou, could neither confirm nor deny reports that the airline would be suspending flights.
In May this year, Cobalt’s CEO Andrew Madar was sacked by the airline and Cobalt Air posted losses in 2017. The Air Transport Licensing Authority (part of civil aviation) met with Cobalt officials earlier today for a meeting. This group has been monitoring the airline for a period, to ensure that Cobalt Air met all of its obligations for aircraft maintenance and payments such as employee salaries.
CO327 – currently en-route from London Heathrow to Larnaca International Airport – could prove to be the Cypriot carrier’s final flight, currently estimated to land in Cyprus at 00:10am.
I flew with Cobalt Air between Manchester and Larnaca last year – I found the experience to be a fantastic blend between low-cost and premium, with enthusiastic and hospitable cabin crew. The airline also boasted what is arguably the most competitive intra-European Business Class of all the major carriers. This is one airline I am certainly sad to see go.
This is, of course, also a regrettable situation for all of Cobalt Air’s employees and the people of Cyprus – who will lose their largest national airline again after the liquidation of Cyprus Airways in 2015. The airline had ambitious growth plans and operated to 23 destinations this year. Unfortunately, those plans now stand little chance of being initiated.