Cobalt’s inaugural operations from Larnaca
Manchester welcomed the arrival of its latest carrier on 7 July, Cobalt. The Cypriot airline will offer twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights from Larnaca. Seen cutting the route launch cake at the UK airport are: Patrick Alexander, Head of Marketing, Manchester Airport; Mark Johnson, Cobalt Representative; Ruth Shackleton, Head of Terminal 1, Manchester Airport; and Andrew Pelham, Aviation Account Manager; MAG (Manchester Airports Group).
Seen arriving at London Stansted on 7 July is Cobalt’s inaugural flight from Larnaca. The 3,248-kilometre sector will be served by the Cypriot carrier six times weekly, competing against Thomas Cook Airlines’ weekly flight.
Passengers can be seen checking in for Cobalt’s inaugural flight from Larnaca to Athens. The 930-kilometre sector to the Greek capital is the only one of Cobalt’s new services that will see more than a daily service.
- Cobalt, the first Cypriot airline to take to the skies since the grounding of Cyprus Airways, commenced service on its first commercial flights on 7 July, with routes from Larnaca (LCA) to Athens (ATH), London Stansted (STN) and Manchester (MAN). The carrier has also added service to Chania (CHQ), Heraklion (HER), Thessaloniki (SKG) and Dublin (DUB). It should be noted that just before Cyprus Airways’ demise, it did operate to Athens, Stansted and Thessaloniki from Larnaca, while Heraklion was also served by the carrier until 2014. The new airline, which operates under the code CO (formerly used by Continental Airlines), plans on building on the success of the low-cost flying model, by offering services that will not only fill the gap left by Cyprus Airways, but also by strengthening the image of Cyprus as an all-year-round destination, and by creating an important regional aviation hub at Larnaca. Of Cobalt’s seven routes only two will face no direct competition, while the average weekly frequency is 4.5. The airline currently has one A320 in its fleet according to ch-aviation, with the airline’s website stating that it is hoping to have seven single-aisle Airbus aircraft in its fleet by next January. Looking at the airline’s schedule, it requires some services to be flown by third parties until it gets more aircraft of its own. Currently Astra Airlines, SmartLynx and Titan Airways are all flying for the carrier. See how Larnaca Airport’s FTWA compares to others from around the world.
||Aegean Airlines (42), Blue Air (14), Emirates (5)
|London Stansted (STN)
||Thomas Cook Airlines (1)
||Jet2.com (4), Thomson Airways (4), Thomas Cook Airlines (3)
||Aegean Airlines (4)
||Aegean Airlines (9), Blue Air (5), Ellinair (5)
|Source: OAG Schedules Analyser data for w/c 12 July 2016.