Cobalt, a low-cost carrier operating flights out of Cyprus since 2016, has suspended operations indefinitely, a statement on it website said. 

Reports in several Cypriot media outlets this week suggested Cobalt's mainly Chinese backers had difficulty channelling funds to the airline, which operated with six leased Airbus planes. 

The airline had expanded rapidly to about 20 destination ssince its launch, adding a business class and, recently, a frequent flyer programme. 

It was not immediately clear what would happen with passengers with future bookings. 

Cypriot transport minister Vassiliki Anastassiadou said alternative arrangements would be made, the semi-official Cyprus News Agency reported.

The airline has a staff of about 200, and had sought to fill a gap in Cypriot air transport following the demise of Cyprus Airways in early 2015, a state-controlled carrier that dominated mainly short routes from the island.

Another company has since named itself Cyprus Airways after acquiring the logo and the brand from the Cypriot state. 

Cobalt employed many pilots from the former state carrier.