October 18, 2018 / 11:09 AM / a year ago

Cyprus says to refund stranded Cobalt air passengers

ATHENS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Cyprus said on Thursday it would offer refunds or assume the cost of rebooking passengers stranded by the collapse of Cobalt, a Cypriot budget carrier which went bust on Wednesday night.

Cobalt, which carried approximately 3,000 passengers daily, went into administration after talks to find an investor fell through.

The company had a fleet of six Airbus A320s under lease and flew to about 20 destinations. It launched operations in 2016, backed by Chinese investors.

“It is a sad day for all the employees and passengers of Cobalt Air. The company has been working relentlessly during the past months to secure the long-term financing of the airline,” Cobalt said in a statement.

The company went into administration at midnight Wednesday, it said.

Cyprus’s transport ministry said Cobalt passengers scheduled to travel on Oct 17 or 18 needed to purchase a new ticket with another carrier and would be reimbursed. It gave contact details of two Cyprus-based travel agents which would arrange transport for others scheduled to fly until Oct 24, with the cost assumed by the state.

Cobalt, which employed about 200 people, was popular among the Cypriot diaspora for its competitive prices to the UK and Greece. (Reporting By Michele Kambas; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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