The Owner of British Airways, Aer Lingus & Iberia Launches Low-Cost Carrier, LEVEL

Mar 17, 2017

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IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, announced today that it’s going to offer more options for flyers by adding a long-haul, low-cost carrier to its portfolio. Enter LEVEL, IAG’s latest airline, which will launch in June 2017.

LEVEL will begin service from Barcelona (BCN) to Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Buenos Aires (EZE) and Punta Cana (PUJ) — and it plans to continue expanding its route network. The flights will be operated by two Airbus A330 aircraft, which are fitted with 293 economy seats and 21 premium economy seats. Fares start at €99 or $149 one-way — comparable to other low-cost carriers. Tickets are on sale today at flylevel.com, and we’re seeing one-way fares from just $105 on the inaugural flight between BCN and LAX on June 1.

Here are the details of the new routes:

  • Barcelona (BCN) ⇒ Los Angeles (LAX) — 2x weekly service beginning June 1, 2017
  • Barcelona (BCN) ⇒ Oakland (OAK) — 3x weekly service beginning June 2, 2017
  • Barcelona (BCN) ⇒ Punta Cana (PUJ) — 2x weekly service beginning June 10, 2017
  • Barcelona (BCN) ⇒ Buenos Aires (EZE) — 3x weekly service beginning June 17, 2017

The economy cabin of the A330 is arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration, and each seat has a seatback screen for in-flight entertainment.

The premium economy cabin on the other hand will be arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration and also feature screens for in-flight entertainment.

Like other low-cost carriers, LEVEL will charge economy passengers for their meal. However, it won’t charge premium economy passengers for checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), meals and seat selection. All passengers will have access to the in-flight technology with entertainment options, and Wi-Fi will be available with prices starting at €8.99 (~$10). Here’s how the different fare classes break down:

Upon launch, the Barcelona-based LEVEL will operate its flights with Iberia flight and cabin crew. The launch of a low-cost, long-haul carrier by IAG will allow customers to fly on transatlantic routes at competitive prices and then connect in Europe to Vueling’s low-cost intra-Europe route network. And as far as loyalty programs go, LEVEL flyers will be able to select a Oneworld carrier of their choice to earn miles with.

LEVEL is IAG’s answer to the rise of low-cost carriers that have brought a ton of new competition to the transatlantic market, especially Norwegian, which just launched its $65 one-way introductory fares. The launch of this new low-cost carrier is ultimately good news for flyers, as it appears that low transatlantic fares are here to stay.

Stay tuned for more coverage on TPG as more details come out about this new option.

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