After months of uncertainty, the insolvent Austrian airline Niki returned to its original founder and is preparing to take back to the skies in March 2018.

The sale of insolvent Austrian airline Niki was finalized on February 28, 2018, Reuters reports. The carrier was sold to its founder – a former motor racing champion Niki Lauda. Niki’s assets have been transferred to Lauda Motion owned by the Formula 1 driver.

Niki was formerly a subsidiary of Air Berlin (AB1) after Niki Lauda sold it in 2011. After Air Berlin (AB1) filed for insolvency back in August, 2017, Niki continued flying fueled by Lufthansa’s (LHAB) (LHA) financing. The later was bidding to take over the Austrian carrier at the time, but the European Commission refused to approve the merger citing competition concerns.

As a result, Niki ceased operations on December 14, 2017. The sudden end of Niki’s operations stranded approximately 5,000 passengers, leaving Austrian authorities to transfer the customers to other flights, according to BBC.

On December 29, 2017, European carrier conglomerate International Airlines Group (IAG) (IAG) announced that 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 a low-cost carrier Vueling. 

READ MORE:
 
IAG intends to purchase the Austrian airline Niki for 20 million euros ($24 million) as well as provide up to 16.5 million euros to provide liquidity.
 

However, the deal fell through when the insolvency proceedings for the airline were re-opened in Austria in mid-January, 2018. After that Niki was sold to Lauda Motion, controlled by Niki Lauda. According to the former racer, Niki flights are scheduled to resume in March, 2018 under the name Laudamotion.