Cobalt Air, an ambitious Cyprus-based airline, plans to launch commercial operations in early Spring, and it intends to make a splash on arrival, chief commercial officer Michael Hayden said.
“If you try today to fly to most places in Europe, you have to go through somewhere else,” Hayden said in an interview to the Cyprus Mail.
“The idea behind Cobalt is that we would try to fill that gap that wasn’t served, even by Cyprus Airways. Not only to look at Cyprus as the destination, but to turn it into a hub, focused very much on transit passengers.”
Hayden, a young Irishman previously involved in five start-up airlines, joins a stellar cast of aviation high-flyers. Senior management, he said, boasts over 200 years of combined aviation experience in over 20 start-ups, and they dream big for their latest endeavour.
“Cyprus would not be big enough for our plans, but we’ll always be a Cypriot company,” he said.
“Our base will be Cyprus, we’ll grow from here. It’s our focus of employment, training, and it’s also the focus of safety and oversight.”
Why Cyprus, then?
“We saw a gap in the market,” Hayden replied.
“The economy is right to set up something of low-cost nature, cost of living is good, cost of employment is very good. It seems to tick all the boxes to set up a new business.”
And geography is absolutely perfect for what we have in mind, he added.
“Cyprus is ideal – it’s better, I think, than the likes of the United Arab Emirates, in terms of how they set up their transit-hub operation. Cyprus has a lot more to offer than most of those markets do. So I think the future is very bright for that aspect.”
But the “low-cost” factor should not be mistaken for your average cookie-cutter business venture, Hayden warned.
“We’re not going to offer the same product as, say, Ryanair, Wizzair or EasyJet,” he said.
“Whilst we want to deliver a value product, we don’t want to treat customers like animals, either. We believe the destination is the journey, and that on board our customers should feel they receive value for money – they should look forward to their next flight with Cobalt.”
By Angelos Anastasiou for Cyprus-Mail