A new transatlantic low-cost carrier has joined the international travel market. Beginning this June, LEVEL airlines, a new brand in the International Airlines Group (IAG), will fly from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Buenos Aires and Punta Cana. With the launch, IAG now has five major carrier brands that also include British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.
In a statement issued by IAG, the company noted that Barcelona is Vueling’s home base and the move will allow customers to connect from Vueling’s extensive European network onto LEVEL’s long-haul flights. While Barcelona has been chosen as the first European city for the launch of IAG’s new operation, LEVEL will, however, look to expand its flights from other European cities.
LEVEL’s fares start at 99 euros ($149) one way; tickets began going on sale on March 17 at flylevel.com. Adhering to the budget carrier model, passengers travelling in economy can chose what they want to buy based on a menu of choices. All customers will have access to next-generation in-flight technology with a wide range of on-board entertainment options. High speed internet connectivity will be available with prices starting at €8.99 ($9.66). 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 new carrier will fly two new Airbus A330 aircraft branded in its own livery and fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats
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. … It will complement our existing airline portfolio and further diversify our current customer base.”
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Dendle, longtime aviation industry consultant and CEO of the new startup, Loloflights.co.uk Ltd, wrote, “Clever move by Willie Walsh, he is a very able CEO and gives a way to counter balance to any industrial action in the old legacy airlines, by building resilience in the whole structure.”