News Local Cobalt employees slam top Transport Ministry official

Cobalt employees slam top Transport Ministry official


Cobalt employees have rejected remarks made by Transport Ministry permanent secretary Alecos Michaelides regarding the closure of the company as misleading,

In a written statement, the employees — who have been out of a job since the company suspended operations a little before midnight on Wednesday — also thanked  Cobalt president and his associates for their efforts to find a new investor and keep it alive.

They said Michaelides had made misleading statements to justify a decision to revoke the airline’s licence, rather than suspend it, and thereby leave open a possible rescue.

The permanent secretary had told the Cyprus News Agency on Thursday night that Cyprus’ Airline Licensing Authority had decided to revoke rather than suspend Cobalt’s licence because it saw no prospect of a change of the situation.

He said Cobalt had told the Authority that it had found an investor but that he had failed to transfer the money at the last minute. It also said that it was looking for other investors, and that there was interest.

“There is nothing specific. From the accounts, the company appears to have sustained losses of some 30 million euro a year over the past three years. The investors from China have invested 100 million euro. And the losses are continuing,” he said.

“So what prospects are there? Who would invest in a company with such high losses? With this in mind, we took the decision that we took,” he said.

The employees said that after the death of Cyprus Airways, Michaelides has become an expert in the closure of Cypriot airline companies at the expense of the Cypriot consumer and without  sparing a second thought to Cypriot employee.

Cobalt had not asked for a single euro, they added. And in querying why the rush to revoke its licence, they urged authorities to reconsider.

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