Austrian F1 legend Niki Lauda given back control over airline Niki

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-24 03:41:12|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

VIENNA, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Austrian former Formula One champion Niki Lauda has been given back control over assets of insolvent airline Niki, national insolvency administrators confirmed on Tuesday.

Lauda was one of several parties that had expressed interest in the former Air Berlin subsidiary that he founded in 2003, his company Laudamotion eventually winning the bidding after a marathon meeting from Niki's creditors on Monday.

With Laudamotion already in possession of an operating permit, Lauda said the airline, that would take on the name of his company, will begin its operations anew from March.

It will be headquartered and have its hub in the Austrian capital of Vienna, and will have a renewed focus on the Austrian market. He has presently secured 15 aircraft for the new venture, he noted.

It is also expected the majority of Niki's 1,000 staff members will remain on board.

Austrian government officials voiced their support for the outcome following the news. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stating via social media that he is glad the airline is "back in Austrian hands," and that the jobs are secure.