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Cobalt’s closure takes toll on Cyprus’ air connectivity

October 21, 2018 at 9:26am
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The closure of Cobalt has meant the end of direct flights to four countries and revived the debate of Cyprus’ air connectivity with the rest of the world, Phileleftheros reported on Sunday

Cobalt suspended operations earlier this week, removing thousands of seats from the market. The airline carried out an average of 15 flights daily, flying 3000 passengers.

Its closure has meant an end to direct flights to Paris, Madrid, Dublin, Abu Dhabi.

Just as in the wake of the demise of state-owned Cyprus Airways, Cobalt’s closure has once again raised the issue of the island’s air connectivity.

In the three years since the closure of Cyprus Airways, Cobalt had gone a long way in covering some of Cyprus Airways’ routes and opened up destinations which had either been out of operation for some time or had stopped several years earlier such as Madrid, Dublin and Dusseldorf.

According to Phileleftheros’ analysis, an increase in flights to and from the island does not necessarily mean more destinations to choose from.

For example. of the 60 flights or so scheduled to depart from Larnaca from noon to midnight on Friday, 20 were bound for airports in Russia and Ukraine, eight to Athens, two to Thessaloniki another eight to airports in the UK. Another four were for Tel Aviv and Beirut. Of the remaining flights, 20 were tourist flights offered by Contor, Thomas Cook and others.

Of the 40 airlines that fly to Cyprus nine fly to the UK  (British Airways, Blue Air, Ryanair, TUI, Thomas Cook, Wizz, Jet2, easyJet, Norwegian Air).

The paper notes that more flights does not mean better connectivity in terms of destinations  as much of the  increase in flights has been to profitable destinations such as Athens, London, Thessaloniki, Beirut and Tel Aviv. With the exception of Ankara these are the same destinations flown by Cyprus Airways in 1960, it added.

Cobalt Air flew to 23 destinations in 13 countries:

Cyprus: Larnaca and Paphos; Greece: Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Chania, Mykonos; UK: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester; Ireland: Dublin; Switzerland: Zurich and Geneva; Denmark: Copenhagen; France: Paris CDG; Spain: Madrid; Germany: Frankfurt, Dusseldorf; Russia: Moscow; Israel: Tel Aviv; Lebanon: Beirut; UAE: Abu Dhabi

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