The grounding of Cyprus Airways in 2015 was a sad moment in aviation and the island’s route map has not recovered. Cobalt Air, a new Cypriot airline that is pointedly privately-owned, wants to be the republic’s new national carrier.
Cobalt made its maiden voyage on 1 June, flying from Larnaca to Athens, but licensing delays for commercial flights mean that its two aircraft remain stuck on the tarmac. Nevertheless, there are plans to double the fleet this month; the airline sees Larnaca as a potential transit hub between the Middle East – particularly Lebanon and Jordan – and Europe. “There are 70 airlines operating in Cyprus over summer, many of which are charters, but in winter that number is halved,” says Andrew Pyne, Cobalt’s CEO. “Part of our thrust is to keep Cyprus connected out of season.”