New airline company Cobalt Aero, will begin operations in May with scheduled flights starting in June.
Cobalt’s CEO Andrew Pyne told Cyprus Weekly that the airline will concentrate on the Greek market. They also plan to offer long-haul flights from Larnaca to the USA. These are likely to be operating by summer 2017.
“What we are looking at is possibly charter operations during May but scheduled operations starting in June and I’m really not going to say where we will be flying because that would be signalling to the entire airline community exactly where we are going to be,” Pyne said.
“The Cobalt project is now very well advanced, we should get our operating licence by mid-April and that means our first aircraft will be in Cyprus in literally a few days’ time, aircraft number one,” he added.
The budget airline plans to offer value for money, but noted “…we want to treat our people as customers not as cattle”.
In the long term, Cobalt’s goal is for safe expansion, but not before they make sure they have developed systems and well trained personnel before they go onto long-haul operations.
Cobalt plans to operate long-haul flights, starting with the US and China and then hopefully India in summer 2017. The airline company is also interested in South Africa as a future destination.
“We will be using the A330 equipment, we start with A320 aircraft, we are looking at five, six aircraft for the summer, we are leasing for the time being and we are looking at potentially purchasing aircraft as from next year”, Pyne said.
The airline which is backed by Chinese and Cypriot investors, is looking for favourable airport tax rates at Larnaca. Pyne pointed out that Ryanair and Aegean had been given special deals to launch their services. Cobalt will need to commence operations on a level playing field, its CEO said.