IAG (British Airways) Launches New Low Cost Carrier

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If you can’t beat them join them, the old saying goes. IAG (International Airlines Group), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Iberia is launching a low-cost long-haul carrier with service starting in June 2017.

The new airline will have its hub in Barcelona and is starting service with flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Punta Cana and Buenos Aires. LEVEL, the name of the new airline, plans to add more European long-haul destinations to its route network shortly.

LEVEL Livery

LEVEL will initially operate two new Airbus A330, which will be configured with 293 economy seats, and 21 Premium economy seats. Initially, IAG plans to operate the new airline using Iberia crewmembers, and the company expects to create 250 jobs in Barcelona.

Level’s first services will be as follows:

  • Barcelona to Los Angeles to start June 1, 2017, and will operate two flights per week
  • Barcelona to San Francisco (Oakland) starting June 2, 2017, and will operate three flights per week
  • Barcelona to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) commencing June 10, 2017, and will operate two flights per week
  • Barcelona to Buenos Aires will start on June 17, 2017, and will operate three flights per week

Tickets are on sale now at Flylevel.com, with one-way fares from $149. While the company will be a typical low-cost operator, those flying its Premium Economy service can expect to receive a checked baggage allowance, seat selection, meals, and in-flight entertainment. Economy passengers can purchase the additional services they want from the available options. The new aircraft will feature the latest onboard entertainment choices, including high-speed internet connectivity which can be purchased starting at €8.99.

As part of the IAG Group, passengers flying with LEVEL will be able to earn and redeem Avios, which opens up many possibilities across the entire IAG Group network. According to Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, “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.” He added, “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.”

Summary

Up until recently, long-haul travel has been the exclusive domain of legacy carriers, whereas low-cost carriers tended to compete in the short-haul market mainly. It seems now that the transatlantic market is coming under increased pressure with more and more low-cost carriers entering the fray. Norwegian and WOW have had success in the US market and another low-cost carrier entering the market is great news for passengers who will likely see lower prices with the additional competition.

Source: IAG

IAG (British Airways) Launches New Low Cost Carrier
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Comments

  • Wow- $487 r/t from LAX to Barcelona in Oct. Hard to resist!

    • Apparently the cheapest one has no baggage included. I wonder what the deal will be with carry-ons. Hopefully its nothing like Spirit

  • Prashant Gangwal says:

    Interesting to see how other legacy carriers respond to this move.

    • The_Bouncer says:

      That is going to be the most interesting aspect of this. An increase in the number of options available is always a good thing.

  • Will you be able to redeem miles from other Oneworld members for Level flights?

  • Awesome! I’m looking forward to trying it!

  • good to see the low price but the seats and lav will probably be thin and space-flex.

  • Just for me: All these Low Cost Flights are without Food&Drinks? Or are they included?

  • Again all the low cost carriers bypass the middle of the country. No love for ORD, DFW, IAH, DEN. Very unfair!

  • I’m glad to see the increase in low cost transatlantic service and I’ll be interested to see how it does to the competition.

  • Always happy to see new competition!

  • So exciting! Cost is the main reason I haven’t visited Europe

  • The_Bouncer says:

    It seems strange that they would create an entirely new brand, rather than extending Vueling to long-haul ops.

  • Cathy Krasnianski says:

    They sold 52 thousand ticket the FIRST DAY! A-mazing!

  • I agree the seats will not be comfortable and I’m sure you will have to pay extra for everything. Interested to see how this will affect other airlines as well.

  • Glad to hear the news. More competition is always good. Maybe they will eventually go into some east coast cities.

  • My first thought was all of this extra capacity is really not needed but then if people start flying more since the prices are so low then it will get used up. The legacy carriers are going to have more problems trying to compete on price since their service isn’t so hot either.

  • Hope level will fly into JFK in the near future. Seems like a European version of Air Asia.

  • Why go through the trouble of branding a new airline when BA itself is already headed this direction already?

  • Sounds great, however, I wonder what hoops are there to jump through. Plus, what rules there are on theses prices. Do we get miles with BA, etc? I love getting this updates with ya’ll!

  • In the first few hours you could buy BCE – OAK for 190€. Exceptional value!
    Then the price has increase but in some dates you can still have an excellent value.
    Then of course depends on other factors.
    I have also seen that the business price is not bad at all!

  • Another concern is co-operation with other airlines if you have a delay, reschedule, etc…

  • Apparently the cheapest one does not even have a checked bag included. I wonder what the deal will be with the carry-ons. Hopefully we don’t get charged for that

  • Bertrand Say says:

    All the low cost carriers are eating the legacy carriers for lunch.

  • A race to the bottom. Bottom fares, bottom service.

  • Analise Sesay says:

    I wonder if British Airways will still carry their amazing service onto this budget airline – or if it will just provide the the worst they can get away with like most budget airlines.

  • Awesome. I’m curious how the average flight prices will look.

  • For these low cost airlines that cost money for baggage. It maybe better to pack just the essentials in a carry on and buy the clothing abroad. Then you can donate or trash the unwanted items.

  • This is great! I travel with BA a lot and I love their service. To know that they will offer a cheaper airline is a great alternative to travel. I wonder if it will come with the standard add-on fees of other discount European airlines?

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