Following a long period of uncertainty, then declared insolvent, Austrian budget airline Niki is returning to its original founder and will be flying in March 2018.

The transaction involving the insolvent Austrian airline Niki was sealed on February 28, 2018.

The carrier was in effect sold back to its founder – Niki Lauda the celebrated former motor racing champion. Niki’s assets have been transferred to the Lauda Motion firm owned by the F1 Champ.

Formerly a subsidiary of Air Berlin, following its sale by Niki Lauda in 2011. Air Berlin then filed for insolvency in August, 2017, Niki continued flying with financial assistance from Lufthansa.

The German airline was at the time bidding to take over the Austrian carrier, however this all changed as the EC (European Commission) refused permission, citing competition concerns.

Niki ceased operations on December 14, 2018. stranding around 5,000 passengers, leaving Austrian authorities to transfer the customers to other flights, according to  the BBC.

On December 29, 2017, International Airlines Group (IAG) said it would acquire the airline in a deal valued at €36.5 million ($44 million).

IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Aer Lingus, was planning to establish a new Austrian subsidiary of its low-cost carrier Vueling.  However, this fell through when insolvency proceedings were re-opened in Austria in January, 2018.