AustrianZRH
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Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:04 pm

Just in on Austrian news websites: former Formula-1 champion and president Niki Lauda sold his airline FlyNiki to Air Berlin who already owned 49.9% of the company. AB assured that the brand "NIKI" will remain and VIE will be used as the fourth Air Berlin hub. In exchange, Niki Lauda gets a seat on the 13-seat Air Berlin board of directors.

German link: http://orf.at/stories/2088396/2088403/
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:23 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
In exchange, Niki Lauda gets a seat on the 13-seat Air Berlin board of directors.

Knowing Niki, I am sure he got a pot of cash as well...   I also hope that "Rotkaeppchen" will be retained as a Captain.
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Carfield
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:28 pm

I hope Air Berlin won't ruin the good name of Niki... the service on these two airlines are quite different especially Air Berlin has cut back much lately! I really love Niki and guess I need to fly it soon!

Carfield
 
C010T3
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:06 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
AB assured that the brand "NIKI" will remain

Air Berlin as a brand will never work in Austria, that's why...
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:13 pm

Quoting C010T3 (Reply 3):
Air Berlin as a brand will never work in Austria, that's why...

I think you overestimate the patriotism of the average Austrian passenger. John Doe will fly whatever is cheapest, regardless if it's a German or Austrian airline.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
C010T3
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:49 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 4):

I think you overestimate the patriotism of the average Austrian passenger. John Doe will fly whatever is cheapest, regardless if it's a German or Austrian airline.

I don't think I am. Of course, no one will fly Austrian over Air Berlin when it comes down to price, but if there are other competitors, AB could slowly face rejection, but never on a large scale. It would be just a detail, but it does influence people. As half Rheinländer, I do twitch a little when thinking about it.
 
fcogafa
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:50 pm

Didn't LDA have links with Austrian at one point? Presumably all gone now they are in opposing alliances.
 
MEA-707
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:54 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 6):
Didn't LDA have links with Austrian at one point?

Lauda Air was gobbled up with Austrian (Star Alliance) a few years ago... will fly on former Lauda 73G and 772 tomorrow... Now Niki will go to Air Berlin (OneWorld).
It would be fun if Niki Lauda would now launch his third airline which would be bought by KLM Air France (Sky Team) a few years down the line
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:41 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Thread starter):
AB assured that the brand "NIKI" will remain

That's too bad. I was hoping for a more professional sounding name like Air Vienna. The "Niki" name and that horsefly livery don't project a alliance quality image.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 7):
Now Niki will go to Air Berlin (OneWorld)

Niki was going to Oneworld an affiliate irregardless of this sale.
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lindy field
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:55 pm

What is with that horrible fly anyway? Why did they ruin an attractive color scheme with that thing? What is it supposed to represent?
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:52 pm

Quoting lindy field (Reply 9):
What is with that horrible fly anyway? Why did they ruin an attractive color scheme with that thing? What is it supposed to represent?

I guess that the fly has something to do with the fact that flyniki.com is part of their marketing. However, it just seems odd to use a creature that lands on feces and other rotting things to represent an airline. Other than entomologists, nobody likes flies.

I have to believe that the fly will eventually be removed as AB matures into a global carrier.
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AIR MALTA
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:03 pm

I used to live in Vienna and people are more patriotic than you would think. Austrians love airlines started by Niki Lauda. They loved Lauda Air and they do love flyNiki now.

I think it is important the brand is kept.
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reifel
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:10 pm

Niki had a way superior product than AB. Very nice staff, great snacks (double decker sandwiches i.e. with shrimps), and a lot of little details i.e. keeping cabin light dimmed during nighttime flights (even on shorthaul), f/a's bringing you newspaper to the seat rather than "self service".... I guess these will be the first things that will become "AB standard". Would not be suprised if NIKI as a brand will go away. Today we already have so many HG flight numbers all operated by airberlin. Go to PMI, almost every flight to mainland spain is a "HG" flight number, in cooperation with AB, but the "official" carrier is HG, no clue why (maybe tax things?).
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:42 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 11):
I used to live in Vienna and people are more patriotic than you would think. Austrians love airlines started by Niki Lauda. They loved Lauda Air and they do love flyNiki now.

I think it is important the brand is kept.

So you don't think Austrians could love an airline called Air Vienna, or Air Austria? I admit to knowing nothing about Austrians' love of Niki Lauda, but I don't think a giant horsefly evokes patriotism in anyone of any nation.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:56 pm

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 11):


I think it is important the brand is kept.

It might even grow. With two brands, AB could develop more into a proper oneworld alliance member and leave the leisure stuff to flyNiki.
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ScottB
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:15 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 8):
The "Niki" name and that horsefly livery don't project a alliance quality image.

I find the name to be darling.  
 
macc
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 10:28 pm

As for me, I always thought the fly being childish. Especially when you have to listen to this buzzing intro at the safety video. But well, who cares. The product Niki offers is excellent. Cant say the same of AB. Excellent food to preorder for 8 to12 €.

Hope AB will keep that. Else, dont think anyone in Austria would care about the brand name. If we fly LH, we would also fly AB.
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Semaex
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:42 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 8):
That's too bad. I was hoping for a more professional sounding name like Air Vienna. The "Niki" name and that horsefly livery don't project a alliance quality image.

Clearly you haven't taken a NIKI flight in quite some time. The hard product is mile high superior to that of AB, at least that's my opinion. AB can learn a lot from HG.

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 11):
I used to live in Vienna and people are more patriotic than you would think. Austrians love airlines started by Niki Lauda. They loved Lauda Air and they do love flyNiki now.

Niki Lauda is a national hero to a certain degree, and people have a lot of respect for his ventures and his F1 career. Austrians love to identify themselves with their country, and clearly the arch-enemy of any Austrian is "the German". Most Austrians will not know that HG is fully owned by a german company now (or has almost been until now), and for AB's sake it better stays like that. I know what I'm talking about, I've got close ties to Vienna. My last intra-european flight was VIE-FRA on HG: Great experience, love the new Embraers and the F/A uniforms.
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
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Semaex
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:36 am

Just to review some points the article posted by the OP mentions:

- AB CEO Mehdorn states that the brand "Niki" will be kept and VIE will be expanded as AB's fourth hub.
- Niki Lauda will get one of the 13 AB board seats and he will continue flying.
- Lauda will not try to establish another airline. He has "run out of names for airlines", he states. He "feels responsible for Niki" and instead of "mocking from the bottom" he will "participate from the top", he told journalists.
// You know you're an aviation enthusiast when you look at your neighbour's cars and think about fleet commonality.
 
CiC
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:33 am

I wish Niki takes over the CEO from Mr. Mehdorn... then AB will get again a CEO who knows how to run an airline... and not "saves money for whatever cost"...

[Edited 2011-11-08 21:33:48]
 
oldeuropean
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:02 am

Quoting CiC (Reply 19):
I wish Niki takes over the CEO from Mr. Mehdorn... then AB will get again a CEO who knows how to run an airline... and not "saves money for whatever cost"...

Especially at the expense of safety, as he did at the Deutsche Bahn. He can be happy that nobody was killed!

 
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PanHAM
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:05 am

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 20):
Especially at the expense of safety, as he did at the Deutsche Bahn. He can be happy that nobody was killed!

excuse me, but what are you talking about? As in aviation, there is a supervisory authority which sets and controls the standards. No CEO can override that without being personally and unlimited liable in case of an accident.
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oldeuropean
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:10 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 21):
excuse me, but what are you talking about?

Two derailed ICEs and not functioning brake systems at the S-Bahn in Berlin, just to mention a few.

Track installations are in such a bad shape that experts are waiting for the next cargo train to crash through some houses near the tracks.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 21):
As in aviation, there is a supervisory authority which sets and controls the standards. No CEO can override that without being personally and unlimited liable in case of an accident.

Yeah, and we soon will see Santa Claus.
The next available little engineer will be made liable.

I can't wait seeing Mehrdorn ruining Air Berlin.

[Edited 2011-11-09 00:35:26]
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PanHAM
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:08 am

You over estimate the powers a CEO has. Besides they are personally und unlimited liable if they do not run the company within the legal limits you are accusing Mehdorn for matters others are responsible for. There is no train on the rails without the OK from the EBA and to switch this Mehdorn bashing back to aviation, the same goes for air, except that here the LBA is in charge. No mechanic will clear an aircraft that is not airworthy and no CEO can do anything about that.

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 22):
I can't wait seeing Mehrdorn ruining Air Berlin.

why? Did he kick you out of a train once? Don't you have any sympathy with the people working for that company? Do you think that LH is wasting money by not streamlining their company? Don't you think it was about time a new face runs the company which was too much tailored to the old CEO's system?

What is done right now is scaling down the company, giving up spoke to spoke routes like FRA-HAM which cannot be profitable against the competitor for whom it is a hub to (large) spoke and the oldest route BTW. Was nice to enjoy the over proprotionate 99€ fares on LH but for AB this is better.
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r2rho
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:57 am

Wait, so AB is losing money year after year, and suffering from a too dispersed business model, and now they buy yet another airline? While I agree that AB and HG are a natural fit given their already tight cooperation, I would think that AB would try to get its act together before spending money on buying other airlines, now is maybe not the right time. Nevertheless, I hope AB successfully manages to restructure. We would then have an interesting airline structured around DUS, the future BER, PMI and now VIE.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:30 am

That makes total sense, they just swept in € 100 million through bonds issued, they had already 49,9% and if the due diligence result is that buying the remaining shares for some 40 million is a profitable venture it is OK. I am sure that Mehdorn would not spend unnecessary money, unless Lauda and his consortium exercised an option to sell which AB previously had agreed on. That would be the LH/Bishop version.
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canadiantree
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:18 am

I flew Niki twice this month from CDG to VIE and both flights were 100% full. A very pleasant experience. Makes you wonder how the heck Ryanair keeps their flights full given the fact that prices are not cheaper from what i can see...
 
simpsondude
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RE: Niki Sold To Air Berlin

Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:50 am

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 8):
That's too bad. I was hoping for a more professional sounding name like Air Vienna. The "Niki" name and that horsefly livery don't project a alliance quality image.
Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 11):
I think it is important the brand is kept.

The Niki brand is one which is trusted in Austria, after all it has been there a long time.
While it may not be a wise decision to drop the brand name, I do think however a livery change could reflect an alliance.

Possibly the Air Berlin livery/logo with the "Niki" name?