Former Formula 1 world champion Niki Lauda will invest EUR 1.5 million in his low-cost airline’s entry on the Romanian market, Lauda said in a meeting with the Romanian press in Bucharest last week.
Fly Niki started operating flights between Bucharest and Vienna in February and Lauda hopes to be able to recover the initial investment in one year. So far, the company has had a 40 percent load factor on its Bucharest to Vienna and return flights.
It runs six weekly flights on the route, with prices starting at EUR 29. Lauda, who holds a commercial pilot’s license, sometimes flies the plane himself.
The former F1 racer has met Romanian tourism minister Elena Udrea and is willing to use his internationally recognized image to promote Romania as a tourist destination.
Fly Niki was established in 2003. airberlin has had a 49.9 percent share of NIKI Luftfahrt, the airline’s official name, since the beginning of 2010.
NIKI Luftfahrt has 450 employees. It carried around 2.6 million passengers in 2009.