Advice to UK consumers on Cobalt Air ceasing operations
Cobalt Air, a Cypriot scheduled air carrier which offered a number of services between Cyprus and the United Kingdom ceased to trade on 17 October 2018 and has suspended all operations with immediate effect.
Further information is available on the Cobalt air website: https://cobalt.aero
If you are currently out of the United Kingdom
The Cypriot Government has announced that for passengers due to travel on 17 and 18 October 2018 that they will refund the cost of an alternative economy flight. You will need to arrange that flight yourself and keep receipts.
An announcement for passengers due to fly after 17 and 18 October 2018 will be made in due course.
The Cypriot Government press release which details this programme can be found here
Cobalt Air is not covered by the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
If you booked directly with Cobalt Air and paid by credit card you may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and should contact your card issuer for further information. Similarly, if you paid by debit or charge card you should contact your card issuer for advice as you may be able to make a claim under their charge back rules.
If you purchased travel insurance that may include cover for scheduled airline failure, known as SAFI, you should contact your insurer. If you did not book directly with Cobalt Air and purchased your tickets through an intermediary, you should contact your booking or travel agent in the first instance.
Negative response letter
Passengers who booked directly with the company via either a credit, charge or debit card may alternatively be able to make a claim against their card provider. Some card providers will ask for a negative response letter confirming the position. Passengers may also be able to make a claim against their travel insurer.
Direct booking with an airline
Airlines are not included within the ATOL Scheme, so if you booked direct with an airline that has ceased trading you will not be covered. If you paid directly to the airline by credit card you might be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. You should check with your card issuer for further advice. You may have similar cover if you paid by Visa debit card. Check with your bank.
Booked through an Airline Ticket Agent
If you booked your ticket through an airline ticket agent you should speak to the agent in the first instance; they may have provided travel insurance that includes Scheduled Airline Failure cover, so check with your agent.
Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI)
Some airlines and airline ticket agents will offer customers either a specific Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance (SAFI) policy or include similar protection within a broader travel insurance product. The type of protection provided may vary depending on the type of policy taken out. A policy may simply cover the cost of the original tickets purchased or any unused portion, or the additional cost of purchasing new flights, such as new tickets for travel back to the UK.
Booked with an ATOL holder
If you have booked flights or a holiday that includes flights with a travel firm that holds an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) and received confirmation that you are ATOL protected, the travel firm is responsible for your flight arrangements and must either make alternative flights for you so that your holiday can continue or provide a full refund. If you are abroad, it should make arrangements to bring you home at the end of your trip. Contact the ATOL travel firm.