Etihad Airways exploring options for leisure airline Niki

Niki Lauda, President of Niki low cost airline and former World Champion Formula One driver, addresses the media during a news conference in Vienna April 19, 2010. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

DUBAI (Reuters) - Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it continues to explore options for leisure airline Niki which it bought from Air Berlin AB1.DE for 300 million euros ($351 million) earlier this year.

Etihad agreed to buy Niki as part of a deal to create a holiday airline in a joint venture with TUI Group TUIGn.DE. Those talks fell apart in June.

Earlier on Tuesday, Air Berlin said it had filed for insolvency. Niki is not part of the insolvency proceedings.

A TUI spokesman said it was in talks with Air Berlin over its wet lease contract with Air Berlin, which sees TUIFly planes leased to Niki.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, additional reporting by Victoria Bryan in Berlin; Editing by Susan Fenton