Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

BA Owner IAG Launches New Budget Long-Haul Airline

BA Owner IAG Launches New Budget Long-Haul Airline

Level is also IAG's low-priced answer to Western Europe's two other major legacy airline groups.

The Level A330s will have 21 premium economy and 293 regular economy seats.

The brand new airline will be called LEVEL and will operate out of a Barcelona, Spain, the same hub used by Vueling, a short-haul low cost carrier also owned by IAG.

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. "It will benefit from having the strength of one of the world's largest airline groups behind it", IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said in a statement.

The launch comes after Walsh recently said that low-priced, long-haul flights will become "significant" part of IAG's operations going forward. Its Barcelona-Oakland service will compete directly with Norwegian Air, which will launch that route on June 5.

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The operator said that while Barcelona has been chosen as the first European city for the launch, it will look to expand its flights from other European cities in the future.

As with other airlines that have introduced the concept, Level will offer those wanting to fly cheaply a basic fare, which can then be supplemented with additional purchases for things like food and entertainment.

"This is just the start". And with myriad partner airlines in the IAG network, those who fly LEVEL will be able to earn valuable Avios award points, which can be redeemed on British, Iberia and a host of other carriers (Oneworld partner earning, however, is off limits).

Level, a new airline from International Airlines Group which owns BA, will initially fly only from Barcelona, but there are plans to expand to other European cities as a rival to low-priced long-haul carriers such as Norwegian. This is in response to the success of airlines like Norwegian, which has been rapidly ramping up its long-haul operations.

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