Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Cyprus airline cancels flights from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted — Cobalt air

Cyprus airline cancels flights from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted — Cobalt air

The firm said in a shock statement: "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".

A senior executive from the airline, Philokypros Roussounides, told The Associated Press said passengers were eligible for full refunds whether they paid by credit card or made arrangements through travel agencies. It was the second Cypriot airline, after Tus Airways, to be established since the dissolution of Cyprus Airways in 2015.

Cobalt, which operated flights to and from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted airports, cancelled all flights from 11.50pm on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Sun Online, Sarah, 51, said: "As we were going to bed last night, we got an email saying your flight has been canceled".

It added: "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".

But it was not immediately clear what would happen to stranded travellers - or customers with future bookings.

According to the airport authorities, passengers informed of the cancellation of their flight have preferred not to go to the place, which has avoided a movement of panic in the terminal.

In a later statement, quoted by the Cyprus Mail, Cobalt said it had called in administrators after failing to secure long-term funding.

Two travel operators on the island had been instructed to manage the repatriations and issue tickets on other airlines.

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

She said: "We thought it would be easier and less stress getting married overseas but it's a nightmare".

Before 2016, short-haul flights out of Cyprus were dominated by state-controlled Cyprus Airways.

Other reports put the debt at around 100 million euros ($115 million).

Cobalt Air Chairman Grigoris Diakos said the airline ceased operations after its backers halted financing and a search for new investors led nowhere.

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 airline's largest shareholder is AJ Cyprus, with 49 percent of the shares.

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