Cobalt Air the Cypriot airline based at Larnaca airport operating in the UK and other locations around the globe indefinitely cancelled its operations starting the midnight of 17 October 2018. The passengers of the carrier that flew to 23 destinations were warned that flights were cancelled following the ceasing of all operations by Cobalt Air. In the UK, the Cyprus-based carrier operated flights at Heathrow, Manchester, Stansted and Gatwick.
It was later learnt through a statement by Cyprus Mail newspaper that Cobalt was getting liquidation services after it said it had called in administrators. This was after the airliner failed to secure long-term funding. The collapse led to cancelling of flights which left thousands of travellers either stranded abroad or with their future plans for travel destroyed.
In the statement, Cobalt Air expressed its great regret in the termination of all its processes. On 17 October 2018, the company entered into administration process after operating for 2 years and 3 months. Cobalt Air which has been trying in the past months to get a long-term financing without any success says the day of ceasing all its operations was a sad one for all Cobalt Air employees and passengers as well.
Prior to the collapse of the largest Cyprus-based airliner, earlier this month a Danish budget carrier Primers Air collapsed. On Wednesday 17 October, Flybe, the UK regional airline cautioned of accumulating annual losses blaming it on a weaker consumer demand in comparison to higher fuel prices.
John Grant of JG Aviation also had some comments. He talked of mounting pressure on various airliners caused by tight margins and increased capacity within the industry. John predicts there will be more collapses in the industry considering the winter increases the capacity to some 13%, which will lead to more companies experiencing increased pressure. Ultimately, these will be needing liquidation services.
Through their website, Cobalt Air advised its passengers with unused tickets not to go to Larnaca airport or any other departure airport for Cobalt Air since no Cobalt flight will be operational neither will there be any Cobalt staff. Travellers can also contact their credit card providers or travel agent for refunds as advised by the airliner. The Cypriot airliner which was founded in 2015 following the demise of state-run Cyprus Airways has about 200 staff and six aircraft.
The Transport Minister of Cyprus, Vasiliki Anastasiadou pledged state support for passengers stranded in Cyprus or abroad. The minister said telephone numbers were to be announced to assist the passengers. Similarly to Primera, the Civil Aviation Authority said it will not be intervening by bringing UK Passengers home. This is because Cobalt is not a UK airline and is not covered by the Atol protection scheme. Atol protection covers many of the air package holidays marketed by travel businesses licenced in the UK.Tags: Liquid Assets, Liquidation Services, Liquidity