OE-LEG A320 Niki
Image Source: Maarten Visser
A Niki-branded A320
Richard Bell

British Airways owner to acquire 15 Airbus planes from Austrian carrier

Anglo-Spanish airline business International Airlines Group (IAG) has revealed plans to acquire the assets of a European carrier for €20m (around £17.8m).

London-headquartered IAG will purchase the assets of Austrian airline Niki, formerly part of the Air Berlin group, in addition to providing up to €16.5m (£14.7m) of liquidity to the company.

The deal is being made by a newly formed subsidiary of Spanish airline Vueling, which will be incorporated as an Austrian firm and run initially as a separate operation.

Assets to be acquired include a fleet of up to 15 A320 aircraft and a slot portfolio at airports such as Vienna, Munich, Dusseldorf, Zurich and Palma.

Around 740 former Niki employees will be retained to run the operation.

IAG said the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including European Commission competition approval.

The chief exec of IAG, Willie Walsh, said: “NIKI was the most financially viable part of Air Berlin and its focus on leisure travel means it’s a great fit with Vueling.

“This deal will enable Vueling to increase its presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and provide the region’s consumers with more choice of low cost air travel.”

IAG is set to confirm further details on the new subsidiary’s brand and route network in the near future.

International Airlines Group comprises several British and European carriers, among them British Airways, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

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