5 NOVEMBER 2018
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Cobalt Air of Cyprus, which stopped flying on 17 October when Chinese backers pulled the plug on their investment (see BTN Cobalt's last hours), has retained its AOC and operating licences, BTN learned at press time.
Following an intervention from Virgin Atlantic, which it turns out actually owns Cobalt’s valuable daily slots at London Heathrow (having originally bought the former Cyprus Airlines’ slots back in 2012 when that airline ceased flying) a Cypriot court injunction has been granted overruling the transport minister’s decision to revoke Cobalt's licences.
Cobalt retains a skeleton staff at its Larnaca HQ following expressions of interest among European investors in resurrecting the airline.
Before its shutdown, Cobalt was working on worldwide AOC status and was finalising codeshare and collaborative agreements with two legacy airlines and one regional carrier. The two-year-old carrier was on course to exceed 1m passengers this year, flying a network of 23 routes.
Cobalt’s six Airbus A320/A319s are parked at Larnaca International Airport. Virgin Atlantic, or another investor, could well step in.
The airline's website is still operational but has not changed since 17 October, when it announced the cessation of operations.
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