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On Friday, IAG — the holding company that owns and operates British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus — unveiled their new low-cost, long-distance brand: LEVEL. While this is still relatively new news, we know a few things about how the new airline, set to launch in June of this year, is set to operate.
Base and Routes
LEVEL will have their first base at Barcelona-El Prat International Airport (BCN). While I expect the number of routes to grow out of BCN, look for LEVEL to also operate other point-to-point routes from European cities to those in the Americas and Asia. According to Flight Global, potential other routes include Santiago, Chile (SCL), Tokyo, Japan (HND or NRT), and Havana, Cuba (HAV). The initial four routes announced by LEVEL (and for sale on Iberia.com) are as follows:
- Starting June 1, Barcelona (BCN) – Los Angeles, CA (LAX), twice weekly
- Starting June 2, Barcelona – Oakland, CA (OAK), three times weekly
- Starting June 10, Barcelona – Punta Cana, DR (PUJ), twice weekly
- Starting June 17, Barcelona – Buenos Aires (EXE), three times weekly
One might call it…minimalist. I call it ugly and boring, but hey, different strokes for different folks.
Honestly, I can understand the need to keep costs low — it is a low cost carrier, after all — but it looks like they spent AT MOST €10 on the design, and half of that went to buy the graphic designer a coffee.
Seating and Accommodations
The Airbus A330s that LEVEL will use on to start will seat 314 passengers, with 21 seats in premium economy and 293 seats in economy. You can see what these seats, and the interior of LEVEL’s planes will look like, thanks to the following tweet by Jason Rabinowitz, @AirlineFlyer on Twitter:
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) March 17, 2017
LEVEL’s planes will also come with mood lighting, personal entertainment, and wi-fi, as well as a “great selection of food options.” As will all low cost carriers, many of the extras touted come with a fee, and LEVEL is no different. From their website, here’s how they break down what is included in your ticket, and what isn’t:
For the most basic fare, you’ll get a seat and a carry-on, plus the ability to earn Avios. Otherwise, you”ll need to cough up some extra dough.
Will LEVEL level the playing field?
IAG’s airlines have taken a beating from all sides in the low fare arena, especially from Norwegian the Gulf carrier, and LEVEL seems to be their response to that. We’ll see if this actually can improve things, and I’m looking forward to watching LEVEL develop. One could image a codeshare opportunity between Vueling and LEVEL at Barcelona, which would give loads of connection opportunities throughout Europe.
What are your thoughts? Will LEVEL help IAG in the low cost arena? Let us know below!
Header image courtesy of IAG’s Media team.
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