Laudamotion, the rebranded bankrupt airberlin subsidiary NIKI, has received an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from Austrian aviation authority Austro Control.

Niki Lauda—ex-Formula 1 champion and founder of Austria-based NIKI—retook ownership of the bankrupt carrier in January and rebranded it as Laudamotion.

NIKI filed for insolvency Dec. 13, 2017 and abruptly ceased operations, four months after airberlin  filed for bankruptcy when Etihad Airways, which owned a 29.2% stake in the carrier, ended further financial support.

Laudamotion is Lauda’s fifth airline—Lauda Air I (ceased operations 1983), Lauda Air II (taken over by Austrian Airlines in 2002), Lauda Air Italy (sold to a tour operator) and NIKI.

On Feb. 16, German leisure carrier Condor said it will market selected Laudamotion flights from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart (Germany) and Basel (Switzerland) to Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Malaga (Spain). In addition, Condor will provide operational functions, such as traffic control or crew planning.

In an internal letter to employees, Lauda noted that 40,000 passengers had already booked Laudamotion tickets via Condor, which is part of Thomas Cook leisure travel group. A spokesman confirmed to ATW  that Condor also “plans to buy seat contingents on Laudamotion flights.” 

“The exact date when we start operations is too early to say. I have 15 Airbus [A320 family aircraft] on the radar,” Lauda told ATW recently.

Kurt Hofmann,