AIR BERLIN and Niki have agreed to set up Europe”s first major low-fare alliance. Air Berlin is acquiring 24% of Niki, the new airline set up by former Austrian Formula 1 racing driver Niki Lauda. Air Berlin will be looking after sales and route marketing of Niki as well as their logistics. The primary objective of both airlines is to join forces to open up the Austrian and Eastern European markets. Air Berlin is Germany”s second largest airline and Europe”s third largest budget airline. Niki was set up recently, when Niki Lauda took over the Austrian subsidiary of Germany”s Aero Lloyd airline, which had gone into receivership. Currently Niki is operating two Airbus (A320/A321) aircraft. Two more A320 will join the fleet in a few weeks” time.