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IAG — the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling — launched a low-cost airline called LEVEL in June 2017 with service between Barcelona (BCN) and Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland (OAK), Buenos Aires (EZE) and Punta Cana (PUJ). Now, the airline says it’s doubling its routes — it tweeted on Tuesday to announce new service to/from Paris, but with scant details either in the tweet or on the LEVEL site.
UPDATE: While in the expansion mood, LEVEL also announced new service between Boston (BOS) and Barcelona (BCN) on Tuesday afternoon.
We were able to piece together the details searching on ExpertFlyer and Google Flights. What we found out is that LEVEL will be launching service between Paris’ secondary Orly airport (ORY) to the following cities on the following dates:
- Montreal (YUL): 3x weekly service starting July 2
- Guadeloupe (PTP): 4x weekly service starting July 3
- Martinique (FDF): 3x weekly service starting September 3
- Newark (EWR): 4x weekly service starting September 4
… and from Barcelona (BCN) to Boston (BOS): 2x week service starting March 28.
For those in the US, the most relevant addition is the one between Newark and Paris. And, LEVEL is certainly looking to make a splash, with fares starting at just $148 one-way from EWR-ORY and €128 ($152) from ORY-EWR. Of course, these low fares come with the standard low-cost carrier baggage and meal restrictions:
This NYC-Paris service seems to be in addition to British Airways’ subsidiary OpenSkies current operations between New York’s JFK and Paris (ORY) and between Newark’s (EWR) and ORY. At least, the two airlines will co-exist for now. Reuters is reporting that OpenSkies will cease operations “at the end of next summer” and that “OpenSkies staff will then solely operate Level flights.” However, we are still seeing OpenSkies flights being sold through October — although the fares seem to be designed to dissuade bookings:
While LEVEL appears in Google Flights as part of the Oneworld alliance, the low-cost airline really isn’t, so Oneworld elite benefits such as free checked bags and lounge access aren’t available to passengers flying LEVEL. And while LEVEL flights credited to AAdvantage for a while, they no longer earn AAdvantage credit effective November 1.
Although LEVEL’s fares easily beat OpenSkies, the airline will have stiff competition on this route from other low-cost carriers. Currently, Norwegian operates nonstops from both Newark (EWR) and New York’s JFK to Paris’ main airport (CDG). XL France also provides low-cost nonstop service between New York’s JFK and CDG.
But the competition doesn’t stop there. Primera Air is launching nonstop flights between Newark (EWR) and Paris’ CDG on May 18 with fares currently as low as $99 one-way. And, there’s low-cost 1-stop service between the two cities offered by TAP Portugal, WOW and Icelandair.
All five new LEVEL routes will be operated by Iberia Airbus A330s, in a 2-4-2 seating arrangement. TPG‘s Emily McNutt got to experience LEVEL in June on the airline’s first ever flight from Barcelona (BCN) to Los Angeles (LAX). At the time, the brand new airline had a lot of kinks to work out, and the airline showed it was really a low-cost carrier with charges for any extras (food, drink, amenities). But overall, LEVEL proved to be a good value for the low fare paid.
This article was updated with the addition of flights to Boston.
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