Thursday 23rd March, 2017
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BA owner launches new long-haul airline Level

BA owner launches new long-haul airline Level

The owner of British Airways is launching a new long-haul budget airline based in Barcelona.
 
IAG said the new airline, Level, would initially fly to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Pun­ta Cana in the Dominican Repub­lic from June.
 
The airline will use Iberia crew and two new Airbus A330 planes.
 
Willie Walsh, IAG chief execu­tive, said Level would become its fifth airline brand alongside Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia and Vueling.
 
“Barcelona is Vueling’s home base and this will allow custom­ers to connect from Vueling’s ex­tensive European network onto Level’s long-haul flights,” he said.
 
The company will look to offer Level flights from other European cities. “We’re really excited about the opportunities for expansion,” Mr Walsh added.
 
Fares start from 99 euros/$149 each way.
 
Travel writer and broadcaster Simon Calder said the new air­line was good news for travellers as more competition would put pressure on fares.
 
He said IAG’s move echoed Luf­thansa’s decision to offer flights to destinations in the Caribbean and Asia on Eurowings, its low-cost offshoot.
 
It was also an attempt to coun­ter the challenge posed by low-cost newcomers such as Norwe­gian Airlines.
 
As well as operating Boeing 787 services from London Gatwick airport to cities such as Orlando, Las Vegas and New York, Norwe­gian plans to offer direct flights to the US using smaller Boeing 737 planes from the likes of Belfast and Edinburgh.
 
Mr Calder said that move would put even more pressure on traditional airlines such as BA and Iberia.

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