3 Responses

  1. henry LAX
    henry LAX at |

    LH HQ is probably cracking open the 1965 Bollinger when this news broke – AB is gone, IAG/Vueling is kept at bay, while Niki under Lauda will be even weaker than its current form.

    IAG should’ve submitted a larger and more comprehensive bid for a much larger portion of AB earlier, but they got greedy and only submitted bids for the better parts without proper commitment to labor (make sense financially but they should know better than that since many European airlines, till this day, are a source of national pride), and now lost out in the fight not only once, but twice.

    The interesting fight will be to see how the Alitalia ordeal plays out. If I were LH, I’d pull out the old Swissair-Crossair-SWISS playbook and essentially expand Air Dolomiti (with optional re-branding) in its national flag carrier while offering to re-hire all Alitalia crew under new contracts. The Alitalia brand is simply too toxic at this point for anyone to buy them “as is”.

  2. NIck dC
    NIck dC at |

    This is a prime example of corruption in Austria’s business world – it’s all about who you know, rather than actually offering the best deal. Regardless of the fact that Lauda was involved in 1 bankruptcy of Lauda Air (first iteration), near collapse of the second iteration of Lauda Air – before Austrian Airlines being forced (through political pressure) to buy the airline, which (in part) was due to the almost collapse of Austrian Airlines, and then Fky NIKI, which he pretty much immediately sold to Air Berlin – when people started realising that Niki Lauda cannot run an airline. Indeed almost immediately after founding fly niki he outsourced almost all of its operations to Air Berlin.
    Norbert Hofer (the failed Presidential candidate for the FPOe), Transport Minister in Austria is a former Lauda Air employee – technician, and Sebastrian Kurz, the Federal Chancellor, received backing from Niki Lauda during the most recent elections.

    Furthermore, the legal challenge that forced the bankruptcy proceedings from Germany to Austria was carried out by a mysterious consumer/travel rights organisation which had never existed before, and surprisingly senior Lauda supporters were backers of it.

    All very mysterious and seeing that actually the worst deal possible for NIKI employees and Austrian travelers.

  3. DLD 178: The Dots & Lines Memorial Episode – Dots, Lines & Destinations

    […] Former AirBerlin subsidiary Niki appears to really, really, really have a new owner now. […]