In the battle of Niki , International Airlines Group seemed to have had the new operation sewn up, with its plans to introduce a new unit in Austria.
Except it seems the Administrators had different ideas, with them opting for a deal with Niki Lauda. The original rescue package was agreed in Germany – where as Niki is an Austrian based airline. Thus bidding was reopened.
According to Reuters Niki’s creditors met on the 23rd January to decide the best bid – and the result of the bid is that Niki’s Austrian and German administrators, Ulla Reisch and Lucas Floether have sold on the airline, stating:
“In the early hours of this morning Laudamotion GmbH emerged from a transparent bidding process as the best bidder”
Terms of the winning bid have not been released.
The result is that Niki will be re-branded “Laudamotion”
The new operation will focus on routes to Turkey, Greece and Spain – a mainly tourist operation, as opposed to competing on business traffic routes. The airline is hoping to start operations up in March 2018 – in time for the summer season.
As for the staff and planes, the new airline will take on 15 planes and nearly all of Niki’s staff.
For International Airlines Group – it’ll be a disappointment, and if they want to grow from Vienna, they’ll have to allocate new resources and set up everything from scratch.
For Niki Lauda… once again – he has an airline. In the past he has been involved with Lauda Air and Niki (before selling it to Air Berlin).
Providing the airline can focus and deliver on its new routes, hopefully there will be better times ahead.
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