The first company is called by his surname – Lauda Air, and the other by his first name – Niki.
Famous Formula 1 driver Niki Lauda was born on this day. He is interesting not only because he was a triple world champion in Formula 1, but also because he founded and led, one after another, two airline companies. The first was called by his surname – Lauda Air, and the other by his first name – Niki.
Lauda was born in Vienna to a family of wealthy industrialists. At the age of 22 he began, despite the opposition of his family, to compete in Formula 1. He became world champion in 1975 and 1977 driving for Ferrari, and once in 1984 driving for McLaren.
In 1979 he founded, at the age of 30, his first airline – Lauda Air. He sold a majority stake in Lauda Air in 1999 to Austrian Airlines. Then, in 2003, he started a new airline company – Niki – in which he was president and CEO. Interestingly, Niki Lauda holds a commercial pilot’s license, and he occasionally personally piloted his passenger aircraft.