Is this just the beginning?
Fresh on the heels of Primera Air’s shocking cease of operations, Cobalt Air now shares the same fate. The Cypriot airline has long served as a mainstay on flights between Western Europe and Cyprus, as well as a popular regional operator between Greek Islands and Cyprus. With zero notice, the carrier has now ceased flying, leaving yet another large lot of passengers stranded, either at home or abroad…
As of 23:50PM on October 17th, Cobalt Air indefinitely ceased all operations, according to a statement on its corporate website. The airline was unable to secure long term funding and as such, immediately ceased to exist. No employees at airports, no planes in the air – nothing. Customers have been told not to go to airports.
“no planes will be flying and no staff will be present”.
Scheduled passengers are told to contact their travel provider (whoever they booked with) to seek a refund. That process can be quite tricky, and is part of the reason it’s always better to book travel on a credit card than debit card, thanks to consumer protections on credit cards.
Sign Of The Times
If you’re not sure if you’ve heard of Cobalt, you’re surely not alone. Though Cobalt operated quite a large network, and was very prominent in the Mediterranean funneling millions of travelers, the airline failed to adapt to modern pricing and practices and fell prey to the increased presence of low cost carriers. The airline cites rising fuel costs as a key factor in route to administration.
Primera Air has thrown blame in a few different directions. At first, it was unforeseen maintenance bills. Next, it was European Union passenger compensation (EC261) laws. Whatever the reason, it no longer exists. With the loss of Monarch last year, Primera, and now Cobalt – many experts eye trouble ahead for boutique and low cost operations, surviving on the knifes edge. FlyBe has just announced mounting financial loss amidst rising fuel costs, and without long term financing it’s hard to know just how much longer they’ll be around.