Union says Air Berlin's Niki Airlines future is unclear


VIENNA (Reuters) – Union representatives of insolvent Air Berlin’s (AB1.DE) Austrian unit Niki Airlines said its future was unclear and they hoped for support from the Austrian government if it runs out of money.

Etihad Airways agreed in June to buy the leisure airline from Air Berlin, which filed for insolvency this week, but the deal has not been closed. Niki is not part of Air Berlin’s insolvency proceedings.

So far all money transfers from Germany have been made, union representative Peter Stattmann said. “The next litmus test will be the salaries (expected) end of August.” In a worst case scenario the union would hope for the government’s support. “We are already in touch.”

Austria’s transport minister said that in case of a Niki insolvency the government would seek a solution. “We won’t leave anyone out in the cold,” said Joerg Leichtfried.

Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Susan Thomas

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