LEVEL is a low cost carrier (News – Low Cost Carrier LEVEL Starts Operations) set up by International Airlines Group (IAG) to handle long haul operations out of Europe and compete with the likes Joon (News – Air France Unveiled New Low Cost Carrier Named Joon), WOW Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle (News – Norwegian Controls Low Cost Transatlantic Flights).
In operation since June 1, 2017, the Barcelona based airline served four destinations to start with attractive prices.
As discussed in IAG’s third quarter 2017 investor call, IAG’s Head of Group Strategy & Development, Alistair Hartley spoke of the initial success of LEVEL. The airline went on sale in March 2017 and promptly sold more than 50,000 tickets within the first 24 hours and recorded load factors that exceeded 90% on some flights. Adding to the targeted 10-20% cost efficiency, LEVEL is expected to deliver more to IAG’s bottom line while serving as the anchor of the company’s dual brands strategy (i.e. full service brand with British Airways and Iberia, low cost brand with LEVEL).
In a previous Insight, Experience The Skies predicted that LEVEL should consider expanding to destinations like Boston, Montreal, Las Vegas, New York Newark, etc. On November 28, 2017, the airline announced it will expand in 2018 with a new base in Paris Orly with operation to four new airports to start. Its original Barcelona base will also add another destination to the mix.
Paris Orly Airport
Paris Orly Airport (ORY) is located 13 km or 8.1 mi south of Paris and is the smaller of the two Parisian airports with international transatlantic flights. LEVEL will introduce flights to the following four destinations in 2018:
- Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport (FDF) (Fort-de-France, Martinique) – begins 4 September 2018
- Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) (Montreal, Canada) – begins 2 July 2018
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) (Newark, USA) – begins 4 September 2018
- Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport (PTP) (Guadeloupe, France) – begins 3 July 2018
In other news, IAG’s subsidiary – OpenSkies, will cease operations from Paris Orly in July 2018 around the same time as LEVEL’s introduction at the airport. OpenSkies flies under the British Airways livery with flights from Paris Orly to New York JFK and Newark currently. It was set up in 2009 as a merger with L’avion with the goal for British Airways to build a secondary gateway for transatlantic flights away from London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Without many passenger feeds, the carrier is not highly successful.
Barcelona El-Prat Airport
LEVEL will add a fifth destination to its main base at Barcelona El-Prat Airport (BCN). The new Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) flight will begin on March 28, 2018.
All flights will continue to be operated with Airbus A330-200 aircrafts equipped with 314 seats in a two class configuration (21 premium economy and 293 economy).