British Airways owner IAG is acquiring insolvent airline Niki.

The competition for former Air Berlin’s subsidiary Niki is over – IAG was the only remaining bidder, after Niki Lauda, founder of the airline, withdrew his offer.

International Airlines Group (IAG) is paying 20 million Euro plus an investment of up to 16.5 million Euro for the Austrian leisure carrier.

IAG will integrate Niki into its low-cost airline Vueling, incorporated in Austria, employing 740 former Niki employees.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “Niki was the most financially viable part of Air Berlin, its focus on leisure travel means it’s a great fit with Vueling”

Niki’s remaining assets include a fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft and slots at various European airports, mostly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

Besides IAG, which also owns Iberia and Irish flag-carrier Aer Lingus, bidders for holiday airline Niki included leisure company TUI, Thomas Cook/Condor and former Formula One world champion Niki Lauda.

Niki filed for insolvency on December 13 and suspended all flight operations just a few hours later.

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