Air Berlin receiver says optimistic on last-minute rescue for Niki: Sueddeutsche

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A receiver of bancrupt German airline Air Berlin (AB1.DE) advised a newspaper he’s optimistic concerning the gross sales strategy of the airline’s subsidiary Niki after plenty of would-be buyers stepped ahead underneath a fast-approaching deadline.

“I conclude from the good demand within the buyers’ course of that there’s a good probability of a last-minute rescue for Niki, regardless of the heavy time strain,” Lucas Floether was quoted as saying in Monday’s version of German day by day Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Niki utilized to open insolvency proceedings final week after Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) dropped a bid for the Austrian vacation airline.

Floether mentioned Niki’s insolvency had created a brand new scenario.

“The airline is turning into extra attention-grabbing as a result of disadvantages corresponding to present contracts can now be terminated,” he mentioned. “Additionally, the double-digit million euros sum, which Lufthansa invested in Niki, doesn’t must be repaid as a result of it has develop into an insolvency declare.”

The events are underneath strain to agree a deal earlier than Niki loses its take-off and touchdown rights, its most tasty property, which is believed to be vulnerable to taking place inside days.

Whereas deadlines had been formidable, Austria’s air navigation supervisor, the Austro Management authority, was at liberty to elongate a seven-day deadline for the working license to be withdrawn till after the upcoming holidays, Floether mentioned.

Motor racing driver Niki Lauda, who based Niki in 2003, joined the group of events by telling German enterprise day by day Handelsblatt in its Monday version that he goals to bid for the airline subsequent Wednesday.

He mentioned he had talked to a different Air Berlin administrator, Frank Kebekus, on Friday, telling him he was able to act shortly.

On Saturday, German logistics agency Zeitfracht and upkeep group Nayak confirmed they had been curious about some Niki property, together with Niki Technik, and crews.

Lauda additionally advised Handelsblatt he would interact within the talks initially with out British vacation group Thomas Cook dinner (TCG.L), additionally among the many events, to hurry issues up.

“However logically, I’m in touch with Thomas Cook dinner and its (German) subsidiary Condor,” he added.

Irish low value service Ryanair (RYA.I) has additionally expressed an curiosity.

Lufthansa scrapped plans to purchase Niki on account of European Fee competitors considerations, even after offering the service with tens of tens of millions of euros in financing to maintain its planes within the air till the deal was accomplished.

The directors for Air Berlin have since been working to discover a new purchaser for Niki’s property – which embody precious take-off and touchdown slots at airports corresponding to Duesseldorf, Munich and Vienna – making an attempt to clinch a deal earlier than Niki loses its slots.

Reporting by Vera Eckert,; Modifying by David Evans and Adrian Croft

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