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F1 manager Lauda, Thomas Cook bid 100m euros for parts of Air Berlin

Europe
14.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Vienna (dpa) - Formula One manager Niki Lauda and British travel company Thomas Cook are offering around 100 million euros (119 million dollars) to buy a quarter of the fleet from insolvent German carrier Air Berlin, the former champion driver said Thursday.

The bidding consortium also involves German carrier Condor, which is part of the Thomas Cook group, Lauda told Austrian radio Oe1.

"This combination with Thomas Cook and Condor is ideal because it‘s a way to guarantee the utilization of aircraft capacities," said Lauda.

The consortium plans to buy 38 of the 144 aircraft owned by Germany‘s second-biggest airline and its subsidiary Niki, Lauda told the Austrian daily Kurier in a separate interview.

Lauda founded Niki in 2003 and sold it to Air Berlin at the end of 2011. He currently serves as the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes Formula One team, of which he owns a minority stake.

Air Berlin filed for insolvency last month after its main shareholder, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, withdrew financial aid for the loss-making carrier.

Potential buyers have until Friday to lodge offers.

Germany‘s biggest airline Lufthansa is among the bidders seeking to acquire parts of Air Berlin.

Chinese investor Jonathan Pang and German businessman Hans Rudolf Woehrl have also joined the bidding.

 

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