Budget airline Cobalt has cancelled all flights after suspending operations overnight, leaving holidaymakers stranded.
The Cypriot national carrier, which flew to 23 destinations and operated flights at Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Stansted, has advised customers not to travel to the airport.
In a later statement, quoted by the Cyprus Mail, Cobalt said it had called in administrators after failing to secure long-term funding.
It was unable to reach a deal with ‘potential European investors’ and is said to have missed several lease payments earlier this month.
Cobalt Air passengers left stranded
The airline has warned that Cobalt’s offices will not be staffed to help passengers seeking alternative means of travel. It instead advised them to contact their credit card provider or travel agent.
It is not yet clear how many passengers have been affected, but 18 flights had been scheduled to arrive and depart from Larnaca airport on Thursday 18 October.
The start-up airline, which was founded after the closure of the country’s long-established carrier Cyprus Airways, had been in operation since 2016.
The news comes just weeks after holidaymakers were left in the lurch with the collapse of Primera Air, and a year after Monarch airlines went into administration.
What do you do if you have booked with Cobalt?
According to the transport minister for Cyprus, Vasiliki Anastasiadou, the state will be covering the cost of repatriation of passengers who are left stranded. The minister advised that all passengers will have to return home by October 24.
Cyprus’ ministry of transport advised stranded passengers to book a flight home on another airline and keep ‘all the evidence and receipts to be eligible for reimbursement’.
Passengers due to fly with Cobalt in the next seven days ‘will be informed with subsequent announcements for arrangements for their repatriation’, according to the statement.
Alternatively, those who paid for their flights with a credit card can contact their provider to find out if they can make a claim through the Consumer Credit Act. You may be able to claim the cost of return flights through your travel insurance if it includes scheduled airline failure insurance (Safi).
If you booked your flight through a travel agent or as part of a package, you should be protected by ATOL and will be given a full refund for the holiday.
Find out more about your rights with our guide to what to do if your airline goes bust.