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Founded in and started operations in 2016. Regional and international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo, jet airplane services.
Cyprus was established in 1960, covers an area of 5,896 sq km,and its population is 0.6 million. The capital city is Nicosia and the official language is Greek.
April 2016: The 1st Cobalt Air (FCB) A320-200 was delivered. According to Chairman Gregory Diacou, (FCB) planned to receive another 3 aircraft by the end of June 2016.
May 2016: Cobalt Air (FCB) was granted an air operator's certificate (AOC) on May 18, 2016 following a test flight between Larnaca and Heraklion.
June 2016: Cobalt Air (FCB) began flying from Larnaca to Dublin, Athens, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, London and Manchester.
July 2016: Cobalt Air (FCB) is an airline based at Larnaca International Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus. (FCB) operated its 1st commercial flight on July 7 2016 from Larnaca to Athens. It is the 2nd Cypriot airline (after Tus Airways) to be established since the dissolution of Cyprus Airways (CYP) in 2015. It is planning on turning Larnaca into a hub and offering Cyprus' 1st non-stop flights to China in 2017.
(IATA) Code: CO. (ICAO) Code: FCB. (Callsign: APOLLO).
Main Base: Larnaca International Airport. Larnaca, Cyprus.
Belgium: Brussels to Brussels Airport (begins April 2017).
France: Paris to Charles De Gaulle Airport.
Greece: Athens at Athens International Airport.
Chania at Chania International Airport.
Heraklion at Heraklion International Airport.
Thessaloniki at Thessaloniki Airport.
Ireland: Dublin at Dublin Airport (Seasonal).
Israel: Tel Aviv at Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion (began March 26 2017).
Spain: Madrid to Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (begins 4 April 2017)
United Kingdom: Birmingham to Birmingham Airport.
London to London Stansted Airport.
Manchester to Manchester Airport.
August 2016: Cobalt Air (FCB) now has 4 airplanes, flies to 13 destinations, on 12 routes, on 10 daily flights,
September 2016: A320-200 (415, LY-SPC), Grand Cru Airlines (GCA, Vilnius wet-lsd) (ACMI)/charter specialist. 1 other A320-200 wet-leased from EverJets (EVJ, Porto).
November 2016: A319-112 (2662, 5B-DCU - SEE PHOTO), EX-(N266CT), Jet MidWest leased.
February 2017: Cobalt Air (FCB) studying Paphos hub.
A320-214 (2920, 5B-DCY), ex-(VP-BQV), (ICBC) Leasing leased.
May 2017: Cobalt Air (FCB) has started its 2nd route from Athens (ATH), beginning a 3x-weekly service to Paphos (PFO), complementing (FCB)’s existing service between Larnaca and the Greek capital. Launched May 2, the 843 km sector will be served by (FCB) on its fleet of A319s, with it being the only airline offering direct flights between the 2 airports.
The route from Athens to Paphos was last served by Ryanair (RYR) which ended its 6x-weekly service on March 25. With this launch, it means that Cobalt (FCB) is now serving both commercial airports on the Greek side of Cyprus.
In total, (FCB) now has 6 aircraft in its fleet made-up of 2 A319s and 4 A320s, with the aircraft serving 15 routes from Cyprus (14 from Larnaca and 1 from Paphos).
Looking at (FCB)’s booking engine on its website, the next routes that (FCB) will launch from Larnaca will be to Moscow Sheremetyevo and St Petersburg in Russia, and Tehran in Iran.
August 2017: News Item A-1: Cobalt Air (FCB) is planning to move into the long-haul market, taking advantage of its substantial Chinese shareholder base. As a European Union (EU)-based airline, by law (FCB) must have a majority of (EU)-based shareholders. However, 49% of (FCB), the Larnaca-based carrier, is held by Chinese state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). “The Chinese investor group is very eager to connect us with China,” (FCB) (CEO) Andrew Madar said.
News Item A-2: Cobalt Air (FCB) is to fit its fleet of Airbus A320-family aircraft with an on board Wi-Fi system to allow passengers to download content onto their personal electronic devices (PED)s. The development is part of a move away from (FCB)'s original low-cost approach to more of a full-service model, (CEO) Andrew Madar said. (FCB), which has just marked its 1st year of operation, has a fleet of 4 A320s and 2 A319s.
January 2018: Cobalt Air (FCB) will launch daily, Larnaca to London Heathrow (LHR) Airbus A320 service from March 27.
February 2018: News Item A-1: Cobalt Air (FCB) will start 3x-weekly Abu Dhabi to Larnaca service from February 25. (FCB) will start 2x-weekly Larnaca to Dusseldorf Airbus A320 service from May 3.
News Item A-2: Cobalt Air (FCB) has a General Sales Agreement (GSA) with (TAL) Aviation.
May 2018: "Cobalt Air Inaugurates Direct Flights to Dusseldorf from Cyprus" by "China Aviation Daily," May 03, 2018.
Cobalt Air (FCB), Cyprus' expanding airline, inaugurated 2x-weekly, direct services to Dusseldorf, capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia to Larnaca, on May 3, its 2nd German city after Frankfurt.
The 1st 09:05 hrs Airbus A320 departure from Larnaca touched down on time at 12:30 hrs local time.
The new service, operated with an Airbus A320, with all-economy (Y) seating, operates on Thursdays and Saturdays. The Saturday departure is 07:05 hrs, arriving Dusseldorf at 10:30hrs.
Dusseldorf to Larnaca flights depart 13:20 hrs, arriving 18:20 hrs on Thursdays, while Saturday departures are at 11:20 hrs, arriving Larnaca at 16:20 hrs. Current lead in fares from £160 return.
Cyprus-originating passengers traveling for business and leisure will find plenty to see and do in Dusseldorf, Germany's 7th biggest city, which is also a terrific gateway to a wider Germany. >350 trains, from S-Bahns (urban trains) to (ICE)s Intercity Express trains stop at Düsseldorf Airport train station every day.
The (FCB) flight crew (FC) led by Airbus A320 Captain Christis Vlademiriou and First Officer Andreas Kyprianou with Florian Bongard, Manager Airline Marketing, Aviation Marketing, Dusseldorf Airport.
Andrew Madar, (CEO), Cobalt Air (FCB) stated:
"Düsseldorf is a very welcome addition to our expanding European network and complements our regular Frankfurt services. We are pleased to be linking Cyprus with such a popular region in Germany, which is an important business and financial hub too, renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Whilst a relatively new player in the Cyprus market we have been enjoying strong demand for our services and hospitality and look forward to welcoming more travellers to and from Germany who will appreciate our competitive fares, onboard hospitality and comfortable cabins."
Contributed by Cobalt Air (FCB).
June 2018: Cobalt Air (FCB), Cyprus' largest airline, is pleased to announce it has entered into an interline agreement with global carrier Etihad Airways (EHD). The deal will help (FCB) to widen its passenger reach and encourage more tourism from the Middle East and beyond to Cyprus.
The agreement opens Cyprus to a wealth of 100-plus routes from Abu Dhabi to the East. Cyprus originating passengers can book onward services via Abu Dhabi to Sydney, for example, checking in their luggage at Larnaca Airport through to final destination (but with 2 boarding cards. At present, all Interline reservations (reservations connecting (FCB) flights via Larnaca and (EHD) flights via Abu Dhabi) should be made via your preferred travel agent).
The arrangement gives (FCB) a stronger presence in the Middle East and (EHD) has a connection once again to Cyprus, a route it stopped serving in its own right in 2014. (FCB) started flying to Abu Dhabi from Larnaca at the end of February this year with Airbus A320 aircraft, with economy fares from 75 Euros one way.
(FCB)'s in-flight experience was recently enhanced by the introduction of Bluebox Wow (IFE) on all aircraft. All of (FCB)'s flights to Abu Dhabi also feature its new Business (C) Class featuring large bespoke business (C) seats and dine on demand catering.
October 2018: "Cobalt Air Suspends Operations After Last-minute Investor Drops Out" by (ATW) Alan Dron (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 18, 2018.
Cypriot carrier Cobalt Air (FCB) collapsed after its 49% Chinese shareholder pulled out and a replacement investor failed to come through with the necessary money.
State-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) was the largest shareholder in the Larnaca-based low cost carrier (LCC), which had been flying since June 2016.
Rumors that (FCB) was in financial difficulties started to swirl earlier this month. On October 16, an (FCB) source told (ATW) there had been a short-term cashflow crisis, but that a new investor had stepped in to plug a €5 million/$5.75 million shortfall and that a statement revealing the solution was coming imminently.
The new arrangement would see (FCB) “become a much more European operation” than previously, he said (a reference to the identity of the new investor).
On the evening of October 17, however, (FCB) issued a statement that it would be ceasing all operations at 23:50 local time and thanking its customers for their support over the past 2 years.
Speaking to (ATW) on October 18, another (FCB) source said (AVIC) told the company 2 to 3 weeks ago the Chinese company would be withdrawing its support because of the current “political and economic crisis,” an apparent reference to the ongoing trade conflict with the USA.
(AVIC) also said there were problems involved in moving currency internationally. “They said, ‘You need to find another investor,’” the source said. “We looked around, found 2 or 3 and 1 signed an (MOU). We had agreed to everything in terms of shareholding and they were due to make their 1st financial injection. They didn’t. Around 17:00 yesterday we were left high and dry, with nowhere to go.”
(ATW) understands the new investor planned to acquire not only (AVIC)’s 49% shareholding, but also other shares, which would have given it a majority stake.
(FCB) had a fleet of 2 Airbus A319s and 4 A320s (all leased) that operated flights between Cyprus, Europe and the Middle East. There had been plans to start a long-haul operation to China.
The source said that China’s investment in (FCB) had been a small piece in the huge "One Belt, One Road" project by which China aims to link itself to Europe via Central Asia by multiple transport modes. Investments in this project have apparently been curtailed in the light of the trade dispute with the USA.
“The "One Belt, One Road" strategy launched (FCB) and it killed it,” the source said, adding the Chinese investors had at least given (FCB) some warning and had not exhibited “a completely cavalier approach.”
(FCB)’s aircraft are grounded and, although (FCB) remains legally in existence, an administrator has been appointed.