Cypriot carrier Cobalt Air has become the latest European airline casualty after announcing the “indefinite suspension” of operations on October 17. The Larnaca-based carrier, which operated a fleet of six Airbus A320 Family jets and employed around 200 staff, said it had called in administrators after failing to secure long-term funding. The collapse left thousands of customers either stranded abroad or facing severe disruption, prompting the Cypriot transport ministry to launch a short-term reimbursement programme for customers who had self-funded repatriation flights with alternative carriers.
A statement issued by Cobalt and published in the Cyprus Mail read: “It is with great regret that we must inform you that Cobalt Air will cease all operations at midnight on 17 October 2018 and enter into administration process, after two years and three months of operations.
“[It’s] a sad day for all the employees and passengers of Cobalt Air. The company has been working relentlessly during the past months to secure the long-term financing of the airline.”
Media reports in Cyprus suggest the airline had been unable to find additional financing beyond majority backer Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which held a 49% stake in the airline.