In preparation for its launch, Cyprus-based airline Cobalt organised a training day for its first 20 Cypriot pilots on Tuesday.
The pilots mainly previously worked for now-defunct Cyprus Airways and were forced to seek opportunities abroad following its demise.
Cobalt’s chairman Gregory Diakou, who addressed the pilots, said “our pilots were eagerly sought after by airlines all over the world, with their skills being recognised among the best available in the sector.
“With the collapse of Cyprus Airways, they had no choice but to turn to other markets. Now they are coming home to build the new national airline”.
Apart from Cobalt’s western Europe destinations, Diakou said that the company has advanced plans to operate on a daily basis to Tehran this summer.
“We are delighted that the government has been able to negotiate a liberalised air services agreement with Iran,” he said.
He added that, as the airline increased its investment in the Cypriot economy, it looked to the government and to the airport operator to provide a level playing field for competition.
“We are not asking for special treatment – but it should be recognised that Cyprus needs its own home airline,” Diakou said.
He said that by summer 2017 the Cobalt network will be extended with the introduction of long range A330 aircraft that can connect Cyprus directly with destinations in China, India, South Africa and North America.
More information relating to Cobalt can be found on their website http://www.cobalt.aero.