Skift Take

It's been a quick turnaround for IAG, which only announced plans for a low-cost, long-haul airline in December. The legacy carriers have clearly been spooked by Norwegian's initiatives and are now working to compete in this new landscape.

International Airlines Group has revealed that its new long-haul low-cost airline will be called Level and will fly from Barcelona, Spain to four destinations in the Americas.

The airline will offer service to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Buenos Aires, Argentina. The first flight will take off on June 1.

The company will initially use two Airbus A330s to fly the routes with Iberia’s flight and cabin crew operating them.

IAG has said that the business could be expanded into other European cities.

The airline only announced the idea in December and it shows just how seriously the legacy airline group is taking the threat posed by Norwegian, which has made the industry rethink long-haul flying.

As with other airlines that have introduced the concept, Level will offer those wanting to fly cheaply a basic fare, which can then be supplemented with additional purchases for things like food and entertainment.

Checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), meals, seat selection and the latest movie releases will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy.
The A330s will fly 293 seats in economy and 21 in premium economy.

Fares start from €99/$149 one way.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Level is an exciting new IAG airline brand which will bring a stylish and modern approach to flying at prices that are even more affordable. It will benefit from having the strength of one of the world’s largest airline groups behind it.

“LEVEL will become IAG’s fifth main airline brand alongside Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. It will complement our existing airline portfolio and further diversify our current customer base.

“Barcelona is Vueling’s home base and this will allow customers to connect from Vueling’s extensive European network onto Level’s longhaul flights.

“This is just the start. We’re really excited about the opportunities for expansion and we plan to bring Level to other European destinations”.

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Tags: iag, level, low-cost carriers

Photo credit: The livery of the new Level airline. IAG will initially offer flights from Barcelona to a number of destinations in the Americas. International Airlines Group

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