NIKIs Press Releases

2012-05-07 13:25

airberlin’s Austrian subsidiary NIKI delivers growth at Vienna hub

  • Christian Lesjak appointed NIKI CEO
  • NIKI posts robust results for 2011
  • Phased introduction of new livery for NIKI fleet

airberlin CEO Hartmut Mehdorn officially presented Christian Lesjak as the new Chief Executive Officer of NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH in Vienna today.  “NIKI is going to remain NIKI; we want to keep the Austrian brand. Our aim, given the current economic and political climate, is to align NIKI even more closely with airberlin, leverage existing synergies and eliminate duplication of effort throughout the group to give both entities a stronger outlook for the future,” Mehdorn explained

In 2010 NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH’s results were fully consolidated in the airberlin group accounts for the first time. As part of the integration strategy, NIKI’s base at Vienna International Airport was designated an airberlin group hub, alongside Berlin, Düsseldorf and Palma de Mallorca. airberlin is now focusing on expanding its Central European hub in Vienna, which traditionally has a strong focus on Southern and Eastern European destinations.

airberlin CEO, Hartmut Mehdorn explained: “Vienna has an important role to play in the airberlin group strategy. We will continue to expand the hub, adding new routes in 2012 such as Vienna-Tel Aviv and Vienna-Florence. These developments come as a clear statement of intent for Vienna and the Austrian market.”

Expansion of this hub within the airberlin group means that NIKI and airberlin passengers will benefit from additional connecting flights, greater frequencies and more convenient departure times. It will also see even more potential for tourist traffic channelled through Vienna. This summer NIKI will launch new services to Santorin, Mykonos, Skiathos and Chania, giving German and Swiss passengers access to better connections to these popular Greek destinations. This expansion is the latest step in the steady growth of the wider schedule network. NIKI continues to place particular emphasis on business travellers. The airline has added more services to Barcelona (now served twice daily) and Copenhagen (now three times daily). Practical same-day return services or increased frequencies are available to additional NIKI City Shuttle destinations such as Belgrade, Bucharest, Milan, Paris, Rome, Sofia and Zurich. NIKI’s fixed schedule also features daily flights to Nice and Stockholm.

NIKI passengers will also feel the benefit of airberlin’s long-haul activities. Its membership of the global oneworld® alliance and the strategic partnership with Etihad Airways are driving developments in this area. New routes and increased services to destinations in America (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco) and flights connecting Vienna to Etihad Airways’ hub in Abu Dhabi are also highly attractive propositions for the Austrian market. A number of new short-haul destinations served by Berlin have also been added, including Cracow, Gdansk and Kaliningrad.

At a press conference jointly hosted with airberlin, NIKI CEO Christian Lesjak announced a robust set of results for NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH for the 2011 financial year. Total revenue was up significantly in 2010, advancing by some 28.5% year on year to EUR 452.6 million (2010: EUR 352.2 million). In total the airline carried 4.5 million passengers, an increase of 32% (2010: 3.4 million). 

NIKI CEO Christian Lesjak: “Despite a challenging operating environment and a number of adverse external factors such as the collapse in the North African market in early 2011 and the introduction of an aviation tax in Austria, we were still able to turn a profit thanks to the growth of the fleet, and the increased number of seats and routes offered. On top of this, NIKI grew as an airline in 2011 with the addition of five new aircraft, creating an attractive place to work for a total of 232 new employees.”

Mr Lesjak criticised the burden placed on airlines by the aviation tax, adding that it had had a negative impact on growth at Austria’s regional airports. Last year NIKI was not in a position to pass on this tax to passengers, signalling an extremely murky outlook for smaller airports.

Hartmut Mehdorn and Christian Lesjak also presented the new livery for the NIKI fleet. The tail fins will be branded with the airberlin logo in a phased introduction starting in October 2012, while a large-format NIKI logo will adorn the rear of the planes.

In 2011 NIKI posted revenue of about EUR 452.6m and carried a total of some 4.5m passengers, making it the second-largest airline at Vienna International Airport. Since 20 March 2012 NIKI has been in a position to offer its customers access to a constantly growing network, even greater flexibility and individual solutions as an affiliate member of the oneworld alliance through its parent company, airberlin. NIKI and airberlin’s market-leading products and prices have allowed the airlines to claim market leadership on routes between Germany and Austria.

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Milene Platzer                                                 
Tel.: 43 (0)1 70126 445