IAG (LON:IAG), owner of British Airways will be expanding their market and opening new low-cost long-haul market airline called Level, as an attempt to rival WestJet and Norwegian airlines.
Launching in June, the new Airbus A330 aircraft will initially fly from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.
IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: “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.
“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 added.
IAG have said that fares will start at €99 for a one-way ticket. The 21 premium economy seats in each aircraft will include checked luggage, meals and seat selection. Economy seats will be able to choose what extras they will pay for.
Level is bound to be a serious competitor for other long-haul low-cost airlines such as Norwegian (STO:NASO), which has flights from Barcelona to San Francisco from €162 during the winter months.
Low-cost airline Ryanair (LON:RYA) also intends to introduce flights to America in a tie-up with Norwegian. This will allow customers to book cheap flights from different UK airports to places such as New Jersey, Boston and New York with Norwegian. Customers will transfer at the connecting airports.
Tim Clark, president of airline giant Emirates has described the presence of these long-haul, low-cost airlines such as Norwegian, Lufthansa and Air Asia as a “gathering storm”.
IAG’s new airline will be initially staffed by Iberia’s cabin crew, and plan to create up to 250 jobs in Barcelona, where the brand will launch later this year.