22 OCTOBER 2018
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A last-minute change of mind by a potential investor in Cypriot airline Cobalt led to the carrier’s collapse, according to reports circulating at the weekend. Cobalt ceased trading just before midnight on Wednesday.
The ATW Online newsletter said the airline went out of business after its main shareholder, the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC), pulled out and a replacement investor “failed to come through with the necessary money”.
Some observers speculated AVIC, which is state-owned and quoted the “current political and economic crisis” as a reason for its action, had been motivated by a resumption in the trade war between China and the US.
As Cobalt took the decision to halt operations on Wednesday, it told passengers not to go to Larnaca Airport or any departure airport the following day “because no Cobalt flights will operate and no Cobalt staff will be present”.
The airline added in a statement: "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."
Cobalt employed 200 staff and operated flights from Cyprus to 23 airports, including Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester. It had recently added a Business Class and a programme for frequent flyers.
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