International Airlines Group -- parent of British Airways,
Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and Level -- will purchase the assets of shuttered
Austrian leisure carrier Niki for 20 million euros ($24 million).
IAG is making the transaction through a newly formed
subsidiary of Vueling. The new airline will be incorporated in Austria and will
be run, at least initially, as a separate operation from other IAG carriers.
"More details about the new subsidiary's branding and
route network will be provided in due course, when appropriate," IAG said.
IAG will infuse its new holding with up to 16.5 million euros
"The 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 CEO Willie Walsh said in a
Niki, a former subsidiary of defunct German carrier Air
Berlin, filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 13 after the Lufthansa Group
abandoned its attempt to take over the airline due to concerns about
competition from the EU Commission.
IAG said it would acquire as many as 15 Airbus A320-family
aircraft from Niki as well as "attractive" landing slots in Vienna,
Dusseldorf, Munich, Palma de Mallorca and Zurich.