Passengers warned as airline suspends flights

Mae Love
October 18, 2018

An airline has announced it is cancelling all its flights and indefinitely suspending operations.

The airline launched in 2016, and had offered flights from Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted.

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

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded, although it was not immediately clear exactly how many.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that it ran out of money after it failed to reach a deal with a potential European investor.

The carrier said all flights would be cancelled as of 11.50pm.

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.

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

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Nine flights had been scheduled to arrive and nine to depart from Larnaca airport on Thursday.

Britain's own Monarch Airlines entered administration past year in the biggest airline collapse in the country's history.

According to the transport minister for Cyprus, Vasiliki Anastasiadou, the state will be covering the cost of repatriation of passengers who are left stranded.

It had six aircraft - two Airbus 319s and four Airbus 320s.

Another company has since named itself Cyprus Airways after acquiring the logo and the brand from the Cypriot state.

Although Cobalt refused to comment on the rumours, sources within the company reportedly attributed the liquidity problems to difficulties faced by Chinese investors in exporting capital due to Chinese government restrictions.

The remaining £17.3million in its accounts will now be used to pay staff.

The Cyprus Mail said the airline's main backer is China's Avic Joy Air.

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