|Founded||27 November 2015|
|Commenced operations||1 June 2016|
|Ceased operations||17 October 2018|
|Hubs||Larnaca International Airport|
|Frequent-flyer program||Cobalt Elements|
|Key people||Petros Souppouris (CEO)|
|Employees||350 approx (2017)|
The airline operated its maiden flight on 1 June 2016 from Larnaca to Athens. It was the second Cypriot airline after Tus Airways to be established since the dissolution of flag carrier Cyprus Airways in 2015. From June 2017 until October 2018, it was the second largest airline at Larnaca International Airport with 8.2% of weekly capacity after Aegean Airlines, and was predicted to become the largest airline by summer 2018 following expansion and the subsequent reduction by Aegean in Larnaca. However, Cobalt Air ceased all operations on 17 October 2018 facing financial difficulties.
The first Airbus A320 aircraft arrived in April 2016 and the airline was granted an air operator's certificate (AOC) on 18 May 2016 following a test flight between Larnaca and Heraklion. According to chairman Gregory Diacou, Cobalt planned to receive another three aircraft of the same type by the end of June 2016. Following the successful completion of its maiden flight from Larnaca to Athens, Cobalt on 14 June 2016 began selling tickets from Larnaca on the Athens route as well as on 5 other new routes for the airline to Dublin, Heraklion, London–Stansted, Manchester and Thessaloniki.
On 4 March 2017, it was announced by the transport minister of Cyprus that Cobalt would operate the route from Paphos to Athens after Ryanair stopped operating the route in late March. In May 2017, the airline announced that it would add five rows of 'economy comfort seats' to its 6 aircraft, to be sold at an additional fee at the airport, or as business-class seats in a 2x2. A frequent flyer program was to be implemented. In August 2017, the airline announced plans to fit its fleet with onboard Wi-Fi available to passengers, part of a move from the airline's original low-cost approach to more of a full-service model.
On 17 October 2018, Cobalt Airways suspended all operations indefinitely due to financial difficulties. The last flight to land was CO327 from London-Heathrow to Larnaca, which arrived at 00:10 local time on 18 October 2018.
On 2 November 2018, it was reported that A Cypriot Administrative Court had temporarily reinstated Cobalt's Air Transport License (ATL) after overturning an earlier Air Transport Licensing Authority (ATLA) decision to withdraw it. This was due to a request from Virgin Atlantic, who had leased London Heathrow slots to Cobalt and was in danger of losing them given the cancellation of Cobalt's operating licences. As such, in addition to saving the UK carrier's Heathrow slots, the formal reinstatement of Cobalt's ATL would allow the Cypriot carrier to continue its hunt for a Good Samaritan investor willing to revive its operations. On 5 November, the day of the court case, it was reported Virgin had withdrawn the legal bid against the airline. This led to the suspension of the airline's ATL for a second time.
As of February 2018, Cobalt Air flew to 23 destinations in 13 countries, all in Europe, Russia and the Middle East. Prior to the closure of the airline, several network expansions were planned. The airline's previous CEO, Andrew Madar, stated that an aircraft could be based at Paphos International Airport from winter 2017/18, operating flights to Birmingham, Brussels, Dublin and London–Stansted.
In August 2017, the airline announced two new routes from Larnaca to Frankfurt and London–Gatwick. The airline also announced its intention to launch operations to Moscow from Larnaca by the end of the year. It initially intended to launch the service to Moscow in summer 2017, but failed to complete the formalities on time, subsequently the route is planned to launch in late March 2018. The airline also stated its interest in operating to Saint Petersburg in the near future.
The airline planned to acquire two Airbus A330-200 aircraft to start long haul operations to China, South Africa and the US by September 2018, with the deal to acquire the aircraft expected to be finalised by August 2017. As of October 2018, the airline has failed to secure a deal for wide-body aircraft.
Cobalt Air offered business class on selected routes operated by A320 aircraft, the airline's fleet of A319 did not feature the business class offering. Business class featured 12 large leather seats in a 2 by 2 configuration. Passengers were offered priority boarding, a dedicated check-in desk, spacious seating and an extensive dining menu that could be ordered at a time of customer's choice. In addition, Business Class passengers had access to a business class lounge. In economy class passengers are offered a Buy-on-board service.
The airline offered in flight entertainment through a portable wireless IFE platform called Bluebox Wow. Bluebox Wow was a portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Each box's single, swappable and rechargeable battery could deliver up to 15 hours of streamed video content. Cobalt Air had specified three Bluebox Wow units per aircraft, which are secured in the overhead lockers.
Frequent flyer program
In September 2018, Cobalt Air launched a passenger recognition programme Cobalt Elements. The recognition card offered benefits including seat upgrades, fare discounts, priority check-in/boarding, increased baggage allowance, a dedicated support line and other incentives to frequent flyer members across the Cobalt network. Members received a Cobalt Elements black card and premium baggage tags. Elements vouchers could be used to upgrade flights. An annual membership included three complimentary upgrade vouchers from economy to business class. Additional upgrade vouchers could be purchased at a discount. Elements members also received a 10% discount on Cobalt's lowest fares.
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