Cobalt airline ceases operations throwing Cyprus holiday plans into chaos

Budget airline Cobalt, which serves routes to Cyprus, has ceased operations.

In a statement on its website the airline revealed it was cancelling all flights as of 11.50pm on Wednesday 17th October "due to indefinite suspension of Cobalt’s operations".

The airline warned passengers scheduled to fly not to travel to the airport – and that Cobalt’s offices would not be staffed so those seeking alternative travel and compensation will need to go directly to their tour provider or credit card company.

The news has come as a shock to passengers, many of whom have been left stranded as a result.

Although the airline is used predominantly by Cypriots, it did offer a host of UK routes serving airports such as London’s Gatwick Heathrow and Stansted airports, as well as Manchester.

The airline had been in operation since 2016.

Cyprus’ Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works issued a statement regarding the collapse via Twitter , expressing "deep sorrow" over the airline’s closure, saying it was working closely with airports and stakeholders to work out "the smooth and and best possible operation for the repatriation of the stranded passengers, due to the cease of operations of Cobaltair Ltd".

It’s another blow for the world of budget aviation, coming just weeks after Primera Air collapsed , which also saw holidaymakers left in the lurch and having to make alternative plans.

Cobalt’s collapse also comes just over a year after the news that Monarch airlines had gone into administration .

What if I had a flight booked?

If you booked a holiday package through a travel agent then you may be covered by ATOL protection which means the firm can organise for you to get home at no extra cost.

However, if you booked the flight directly then this is unlikely to have ATOL protection and you may have to pay for new flights out of your own pocket.

If you booked on a credit card, contact your provider who should be able to advise – you may be able to claim the cost back through the Consumer Credit Act although there are stipulations such as the minimum cost of the flight.

It’s also worth keeping an eye out on other airlines with similar routes as in this type of situation there are often special fares offered to stranded passengers.

For example, Wizz Air has special fares for Cobalt customers whose flights from or to Larnaca, Cyprus or Athens, Greece and any London airport were cancelled.

The ‘rescue fare’ is priced at £79pp for travel up to the 9th December 2018, and are subject to availability. You can find more on the Wizz Air website here.

Full Cobalt 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.

"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."

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