Dr. Hans-Joachim Körber, Chairman of airberlin’s Board, commented: “Over the past years Niki Lauda has built up NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH into a successful and profitable business. We are pleased that, in joining the Board of airberlin, he will now be bringing his skills to bear on the group as a whole.”
Since July 2010 Air Berlin PLC has held a 49.9 stake in NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. airberlin, the Lauda Private Trust and Niki Lauda have agreed that the Lauda Private Trust will be withdrawing from NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. The withdrawal of the Lauda Private Trust will be taking place shortly in the course of restructuring measures in accordance with company law. As a result the Lauda Private Trust will be repaying the loan it had received from airberlin by transferring its 50.1 percent stake in NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. Austrian control and majority ownership of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH will in future be ensured by a new private trust that is exclusively Austrian and that will hold a majority stake in NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH. The transfer of the 50.1 percent stake will not involve any cash payments.
Hartmut Mehdorn, CEO of Air Berlin PLC, remarked: “airberlin and NIKI have been working together very successfully and in the spirit of partnership for many years now. Deeper cooperation with NIKI is opening up major new potential for us in terms of strengthening our Vienna hub. Together with NIKI, airberlin’s network will become even more effective, especially in the rapidly growing markets in Eastern Europe.”
Niki Lauda added: “I am pleased that, as a Member of the Board, I will be able to contribute to the successful development of the entire airberlin group.”
In future NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH will also be fully consolidated in the financial statements of Air Berlin PLC. Its position as a legally independent, Austrian company with its own Management Board will remain unchanged. Mehdorn continued: “NIKI is a successful airline that will continue to operate under its own name and within airberlin’s route network. Its further integration into the airberlin family delivers numerous economic and logistical advantages, which will benefit both airlines and above all our joint customers.”
NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH has 800 employees. Last financial year NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH recorded a turnover of 337.4 million euros. During this period the airline carried 3.4 million passengers. NIKI’s fleet includes 21 aircraft, operating services to 85 destinations