Cobalt Air has gone bust - who's next?

Marco Green
Октября 21, 2018

But the Cypriot transport ministry said passengers expecting to fly with Cobalt on Thursday should secure one-way tickets in economy class from another airline and keep their receipt to be reimbursed.

As stranded passengers scrambled to find alternate flights, Cyprus' government said it would compensate Cobalt Air ticketholders who end up with other carriers to get to and from the Mediterranean island.

On Wednesday evening, the airline's low-priced has created the surprise by indicating in a brief statement on its website it was canceling all of its flights from 23H50 (20H50 GMT), due to an "indefinite suspension" of its operations.

No Cobalt staff would be present, a statement from the airline added. After facing cash flow problems in early October, forcing the airline to ground the aircraft for days, it seems that the Cypriot airline's main backers are unable to fund the company.

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

According to local media, the airline had failed to reach a new deal with potential investors.

People with existing bookings on Cobalt flights should contact their credit card provider or travel agent for refunds.

Cobalt stepped in to replace bankrupt Cyprus Airways, which shut down in January 2015.

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.

"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.

The news comes just two weeks after Latvia-based Primera Air filed for bankruptcy and a month since Belgian airline Skyworks took the same course.

The airline, which began in April 2016, ceased operations effective today, with the final flight from Heathrow expected landing in Larnaca shortly after 10pm.

The largest shareholder of Cobalt Air is AJ Cyprus, to the tune of 49%, which is owned by the Chinese Avic Joy Air.

Thousands more holidaymakers have had their plans thrown into disarray after a Cypriot airline cancelled all its flights.

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