First Air Berlin, now Niki. | Archive

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Another airline has stopped trading. Niki, the Austrian subsidiary of Air Berlin, has filed for bankruptcy and has ceased flying as of today (14 December).

Lufthansa, which has acquired a substantial part of Air Berlin, had also wanted to take over Niki and absorb the airline into its Eurowings low-cost operation. The European Commission has blocked the acquisition, which was due to have been effected next week.

The consequence is the possible loss of some 1,000 jobs. A further one is that passengers are going to be stranded. Some airlines are stepping in to take passengers back to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Possible purchasers of Niki have been Thomas Cook via the Condor airline and IAG. The administrators for Air Berlin say that there haven't been appropriate offers. Another possible purchaser is Niki Lauda, who originally founded the airline.

The cessation of operations will have an impact on Palma airport. Some twenty Niki flights have been operating daily between airports in Germany and Austria and Majorca.