Symi Visitor Accommodation Travel Blog

Flights, ferries, and travel tips to help visitors to the Greek island of Symi

Symi Visitor Travel blog

Goodbye Niki

Another casualty of the Air Berlin collapse. Niki, Air Berlin’s “leisure flight” subsidiary that in summer flew between Germany/Austria and Rhodes/Kos was going to be sold to Lufthansa. EU competition regulators ruled that having it owned by Lufthansa would concentrate flights in too few hands. As all the other bidders for Niki had withdrawn, the airline closed down this morning, leaving tourists stranded in various places, mostly the Canary Islands.

Nobody is stranded in Greece, of course, as there were no flights to Greece at this time of year. However if you had already booked with Niki for summer 2018, you ought to get your money back eventually (unless you made your booking before mid-August 2017, in which case you’re out of luck unless you can claim against your credit card company instead).

This is likely to lead to a seat shortage for summer 2018, as it will take time for other airlines to arrange slots, lease planes, and hire crews, and not all of this is likely to be in place in time, as opposed to the orderly transition proposed by Lufthansa. Strange that a ruling designed to increase competition and so keep fares down is likely to have the opposite effect.