Austrian airline Niki Luftfahrt will largely adopt the livery of its parent Air Berlin as it moves closer to the German carrier under the new leadership of Christian Lesjak.

The Vienna-based airline officially appointed Lesjak chief executive this week. He will jointly head the business with Otmar Lenz, who had served as sole chief executive up to this point, according to the company's website.

Last year, Niki increased its revenues 28.5% to €452.6 million ($586.7 million) while passenger numbers grew by 32% to 4.5 million.

Its new livery will look virtually identical to that of Air Berlin. The Niki logo will be retained on the forward fuselage while the name will appear on the engine cowling in similar fashion to the parent company's branding.

"Our objective is to move Niki closer to Air Berlin in light of the economic and political circumstances," says the German group's chief executive, Hartmut Mehdorn. This is "to use synergies [and] avoid duplication", he adds.

Mehdorn rejects claims that the brand will be given up. "Niki remains Niki," he says. "We want to keep the Austrian brand alive." The new livery will be gradually introduced from October.

Air Berlin wants to build up Vienna as a hub and will this year introduce new routes to Tel Aviv and Florence as well as the Greek holiday destinations Santorin, Mykonos, Skiathos and Chania.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news