International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and low-cost carrier Vueling, is one of the four bidders selected for the final stages of talks over the assets of insolvent Austrian airline Niki. IAG had made an offer for Niki as a whole and was the frontrunner in talks for the carrier If no deal is struck with IAG, it is possible that Niki will have to deal with several buyers.
British tour operator Thomas Cook, and Niki’s founder, former Formula One world champion Niki Lauda, are also among the four. The administrators aim to agree a deal by the end of next week. Lauda, who set up the airline in 2003, said he had been told a decision was to be made on Dec. 28.
Niki filed for insolvency last week after Germany’s Lufthansa backed out of a deal to buy its assets on competition concerns, grounding the fleet and stranding thousands of passengers.