By Andria Kades
A new airline – Cobalt Air – has applied to set up operations from Cyprus, intending to use the island as a base for operating “a strong European airline”.
“CobaltAir will operate a fleet of modern, fuel efficient, Airbus aircraft and will launch in 2015 with flights to ten destinations,” the company said in a statement.
The company submitted the Cyprus Air Operator Certificate to the Department of Civil Aviation on Monday and have already registered as a local company, according to communications ministry spokesperson Demetris Constantinou.
“We are establishing a ‘New Age’ airline that will be based in Cyprus and will operate regionally and throughout Europe. We believe Cyprus provides an excellent environment in which to develop a new airline for a pan-European market,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Kelly said.
The airline promises to have the best attributes from both low cost and full service carriers and if approved, the company’s planes would bear characteristics specific to the island such as ‘Visit Cyprus’ slogans. Originally, the charter company had considered buying assets from now defunct Cyprus Airways such as the name and emblem but proceeded to set up their own operations.
“We see Cyprus as being strategically positioned at the crossroads of the Middle East, Europe (including Russia/CIS) and Africa – and offers a mature market with a qualified and skilled labour force,” Kelly added.
Constantinou would not go into details as to where the company is based however reports said that the initial equity capital, submitted as part of the application costing €16,500, showed funds came from Europe and Asia.
He said their request would be reviewed within the next four to five months and the Ministry of Communications would proceed to give an official response.
The executive team has a collective experience of more than 70 years in aviation and one of the board directors is reportedly Cypriot. Kelly, an Australian national founded Airological Consulting Group and held several titles such as general manager at Qantas Airways and chairman of Suji.com, an Asia-Pacific online travel agency.
Andrew Pyne, the Chief Operating Officer brings his managerial experience from British Airways, Avianova, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific Airways where he had stints at Hong Kong, Mumbai and Sri Lanka, to the table.
Michael Hayden has the title of Chief Commercial Officer and has a past working at Dobrolet, Avianova, Jazeera Airways and EUJet.
The company is currently recruiting locally for a number of positions.