Airlines IAG Group acquires Niki

IAG Group has announced the acquisition of the insolvent Austrian Niki.

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The deal, which is valued at € 36,5 million, includes the acquisition of 15 A320 Family aircraft and landing slots at several airports including its hub Vienna, Dusseldorf, Munich, Palma de Mallorca and Zurich for € 20 million. The remaining €16,5 million will be used to secure Niki’s operations.

Niki will be integrated into IAG’s European low cost carrier Vueling. Vueling currently operates a fleet of around 100 Airbus A320 family aircrafts from several mostly Southern European hubs.

Niki will be become an Austrian subsidiary of Vueling and will incorporate around 740 of the former 1000 employees.

"Niki was the most financially viable part of Air Berlin and its focus on leisure travel means it's a great fit with Vueling," IAG CEO Willie Walsh said. "This deal will enable Vueling to increase its presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and provide the region's consumers with more choice of low-cost air travel."

The acquisition of Niki signalizes the entry into the D-A-CH market (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) for IAG’s airlines. Until now Vueling did only connect destinations in the countries with hubs in other countries. Details regarding Niki’s new branding and routes will be announced in the next weeks. Vueling.

It is currently unclear what will happen to the 15 TUIfly Boeing 737 aircraft, which are operated on behalf of Niki. German media reports the aircraft will be leased by Lufthansa’s low cost subsidiary Eurowings for their European network. After the acquisition of Niki, Eurowings and Vueling will compete on several routes.

Until now it is unclear when Niki will resume operations. The airline ceased operations one day after Lufthansa abandoned negotiations on December 14.

Source © IAG Group

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