NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH, also known as flyNiki is a scheduled semi-lowcost airline and a subsidiary of Air Berlin, Germany's second largest airline. It mainly serves leisure and some business destinations and is headquartered in Office Park I at Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Wien-Umgebung, Austria. Niki operates charter services to leisure destinations in Europe and the Middle East from Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Linz on behalf of tour operators as well. Although it is often described as "low-cost", it provides full service, such as free refreshments, newspapers and baggage.
The livery used to carry a distinctive cartoon insect at the front of the aircraft. The livery since has been replaced with an adapted version of the livery of Air Berlin.
The Office Park at Vienna International Airport contains Niki's head office
In 2003 Niki Lauda, ex-Grand Prix driver and founder of Lauda Air, acquired the former Aero Lloyd Austria operation. The airline started operations on 28 November 2003 with the temporary name FlyNiki. On 9 January 2004, Niki announced cooperation with Air Berlin. The two airlines call their cooperation "the first European low-cost airliner alliance". Russian carrier S7 Airlines was projected to join. In the meantime, all three are members of oneworld alliance — S7 joined late 2010, Air Berlin in early 2012, Niki at the same time as an affiliate. Nikis frequent flyer programme called topbonus is operated jointly with Air Berlin as well.
The airline has been owned by Air Berlin since 8 November 2011 and has 650 people working for them of which around 90% are employed through Labourpool Gmbh, a personnel leasing company. Staff turnover is generally high due to this structure being used as employees do not generally enjoy any protection and can be dismissed with a 6 week notice period. It also protects the airline against disgruntled ex-employees as they cannot sue against the airline as they are technically employees of Labourpool. The personnel manager of Niki also acts for Labourpool. However in July 2013, Air Berlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer decided that all Niki personnel employed through Labourpool would be employed directly by Niki from 1 January 2014.
Niki offers complimentary sandwich and non-alcoholic drink meal service on its short haul flights and an additional buy on board service that has a large range of meal items for sale. On charter services and some business destinations such as Zurich, Frankfurt or Munich, hot meals are complimentary.