Newsroom / CNA
Cyprus’ Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) decided to revoke Cobalt Air’s operating license, Alecos Michaelides, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works told CNA.
A letter from ATLA informing the company about its decision will be sent Friday, Michaelides added. He noted that he the company preferred its license to be suspended temporarily, but according to Michaelides, there was no reason to do so.
The decision was taken earlier on Thursday, during a meeting in Nicosia, also attended by Cobalt Air Chairman Grigoris Diakos, who presented the company’s position. According to the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Diakos told the Authority that the company was looking for investors, however, Michaelides called these references “vague”.
He went on to say that company accounts show that Cobalt recorded annually €30 mln losses in the past three years. Chinese investors are estimated to have put €100 mln, however losses continued unabated, Michaelides added.
Cobalt Air ceased all operations at midnight and entered into administration process, after 2 years and 3 months of operations, expressing “great regret”. Several airliners announced Thursday that they were offering special fares to accommodate stranded passengers.
Aegean and Olympic Air announced they would run additional flights with increased capacity from Larnaca to Athens and Thessaloniki, after Cobalt suspended its operations.
Special fares start from €66 (including taxes) for direct Larnaca-Athens and Larnaca-Thessaloniki flights. The airliner also covers all other Cobalt destinations, such as Paris, Moscow, Frankfurt, Zurich, Düsseldorf, Madrid, Dublin, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Beirut and London with special fares, the announcement says. The company’s flight schedule will be strengthened with an extra Larnaca-Athens-Larnaca flight and three Larnaca-Thessaloniki-Larnaca flights daily, until October 27, 2018.
The company will also use larger aircrafts to accommodate more passengers form Larnaca, wherever possible.
Orthodoxou Travel also announced additional flights with Blue Air and said they were offering rescue fares for all passengers who had travel arrangements with Cobalt between October and March on Larnaca - Athens, Athens - Larnaca, Larnaca – Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki – Larnaca, London (Luton) - Larnaca and Larnaca - London (Luton) routes.
According to the travel agency, passengers can travel with €69, one way, to/ from Athens and Thessaloniki, airport taxes included, while one way to/from London (Luton) airport fares, start from €99, taxes included.
Passengers in possession of a cancelled Cobalt flight reservation can book a new flight by calling the Blue Air Call Center in Cyprus, Greece or UK. The rescue fare is subject to seat availability, it is noted.
At the same, Cyprus Airways announced that it is offering a number of free tickets to affected Cobalt Air passengers.
“Cyprus Airways, aiming to minimize passengers’ discomfort, will be offering up to 20 free one-way tickets (excluding airport taxes), on each flight, for the repatriation of passengers from/to Larnaca, Athens, Beirut and Tel Aviv” a company announcement says.
The offer is valid for all flights to the aforementioned destinations for trips to be completed by December 15, 2018. This offer is valid for reservations made until October 31, 2018, on a first come first served basis.