There’s One More Airline Offering Low-Cost Flights in Europe
Just one year after adding LEVEL, a long-haul, low-cost carrier to its portfolio, IAG, the owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is continuing its foray into the low-cost sector and launching LEVEL-branded short-haul European flights.
Unlike the long-haul airline which is based in Barcelona (and Paris starting July 2), LEVEL's new subsidiary will be based in Vienna, Austria. It will begin operations with flights from Vienna (VIE) to Palma de Mallorca (PMI) and London Gatwick (LGW), followed by other destinations such as Barcelona (BCN), Malaga (AGP) and Paris Oly (ORY). The flights will be operated by four Airbus A321 aircraft, which are fitted with 210 seats in an all-economy arrangement.
You won't need to wait long to take one of these flights. The new subsidiary will begin flying to its first set of destinations on July 17 with fares starting at 24.99 euros (~$29) one-way — comparable to other low-cost carriers. For now, flights can only be booked through IAG's other European low-cost carrier, Vueling. Just head to flylevel.com/austria, plug in your desired dates and cities and you'll be redirected to Vueling's site to complete the booking. The fare is, as with many low-cost carriers, for bare-bones transport, with no checked luggage or food included.
“Customers can check-in online or at the airport and take one hand baggage item onboard for free. They can choose to pay for additional items, such as checked luggage, from a menu of options designed to suit a variety of budgets and needs. There will also be a large selection of food and drink which can be purchased onboard,” IAG CEO Willie Walsh explained in a company statement.
This move comes at a time when competition among the low-cost segment in Europe is fiercer than ever before. Last December, IAG tried to buy Vienna-based low-cost carrier Niki (now known as Laudamotion), but lost out to Ryanair. IAG has also expressed great interest in a complete takeover of Norwegian Air and will reportedly make a third bid to acquire the low-cost carrier.
“We are launching this new shorthaul subsidiary to provide Austrian consumers with more flight choices across Europe," Walsh said.