Cypriot airline Cobalt Air has ceased operations and becomes the second European carrier to stop flying this month after Nordic low-cost carrier Primera Air was permanently grounded on 1 October.
The airline began operating in 2016 after stepping in to replace bankrupt Cyprus Airways, which shut down in January 2015 but was in financial trouble and faced cash-flow problems.
Cobalt had reportedly not paid the monthly leasing fee to the American company that owns two aircraft. It posted losses for the year 2017, and May this year sacked CEO Andrew Madar.
It has a fleet of two Airbus 319s (144 seats) and four Airbus 320s (156 seats) and this year served 28 destinations from Cyprus. The airline’s main stockholders are AJ Cyprus, holding 49 per cent of the shares. AJ Cyprus is owned by Chinese Avic Joy Air.
In a statement the airline said: “Cobalt regrets to announce that it will be cancelling all Flights as of 23.50pm on October 17, 2018 due to indefinite suspension of Cobalt’s operations. As a result, future flights or services provided by Cobalt will be cancelled and will no longer operate.
“Passengers who have un-flown tickets are instructed not to go to Larnaca Airport or any departure airport tomorrow, 18 October 2018 as no Cobalt flights will operate and no Cobalt staff will be present.
“For refunds, please contact your credit card provider or Travel Agent.
“We sincerely apologise once again and would like to thank our very loyal customers for their support over the last two years of Cobalt operations.”