BUSINESS

New Cyprus airline ditches CEO after teething troubles

TAGS: Cyprus, Business

New Cyprus-based budget airline Cobalt said on Monday it had changed its CEO less than four weeks after beginning operations.

Cobalt belatedly began flying on July 7 but has faced criticism and a bad press over lengthy delays to flights as it waits for more planes to be delivered.

The low-cost carrier gave no reason for replacing incumbent Andrew Pyne with Andrew Madar who was head of strategy and planning.

A statement simply read: "Cobalt’s initial success is due to Mr Andrew Pyne, who is stepping down as CEO."

"Mr Andrew Madar will be in charge of leading Cobalt in its new development phase, as the company’s new CEO."

Cobalt hinted at early teething problems by saying Madar will focus on "delivering the company’s promises to its customers and ensuring that they will be treated as valued customers."

Cobalt currently flies to Britain, Greece and Ireland.

It said that with more aircraft on the way, it was ready to move into the "second phase" of growth.

This would "start linking Cyprus with international destinations such as Asia, Middle East, greater Europe and USA," the statement said.

Later, the company said it hopes to add non-European destinations such as Egypt, Iran, Israel, Lebanon and Russia.

Cyprus’s two largest tourist markets are Britain and Russia.

The closure of bankrupt national carrier Cyprus Airways in January 2015 created a vacuum Cobalt says it hopes to exploit.

Some 70 airlines fly to and from the eastern Mediterranean island whose economy relies heavily on tourism.

Arrivals hit a 14-year high of 2.65 million in 2015, and income from tourism accounts for around 12 percent of GDP.

Authorities are confident of another record-breaking season this year with three million visitors. [AFP]

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