Following our look back at British Airways historical low-cost airline, GO, yesterday, today we look at IAG’s current low-cost venture. LEVEL Airlines.
LEVEL Airlines is just over a year old. Following the airline’s inaugural flight departing from Barcelona, the first landing of that same flight occurred at Los Angeles at around 19:55 local time. The A330 was full, carrying 314 passengers. Since those humble beginnings, LEVEL has grown to a fleet size of 4 A321 aircraft and 5 A330 aircraft.
Part Of IAG
LEVEL is owned by IAG, the International Airlines Group. Being part of IAG gives LEVEL a few perks. First and foremost, the airline has some of the best brains backing it. IAG is a serious player in the aviation industry. Unlike a new startup airline who has to find their feet on their own, the people running LEVEL already know all of the pitfalls of running an airline.
Also, it means that LEVEL has access to a certain number of resources as and when it needs them. The airline is, for example, currently operating three Iberia A330s. Additionally, the airline slotted straight into IAG’s frequent flyer schemes. This means that LEVEL passengers can also accrue and spend Avios. The airline also has Codeshare agreements with three fellow IAG airlines.
Expansive Route Network
Level operates a pretty comprehensive network of routes for an airline that is barely much over one year old. The airline has three bases spread across Europe including Barcelona, Paris, and Vienna. From these bases, the airline operates a variety of European and Transatlantic flights. The airline operates flights to 24 destinations in 12 countries, while in 2019 this will expand to become 26 destinations in 13 countries.
The airline currently only operates one flight to the UK. This is the Vienna London route. The CEO of IAG, Willie Walsh, previously made it clear that there are no immediate plans to operate a base from the United Kindom. He cited the reason as Air Passenger Duty, stating:
“British consumers are losing out because of APD. In Spain and France, LEVEL can offer lower fares than it can in the UK – and that goes for other longhaul low cost airlines too…. MPs need to know that APD undermines our ability to introduce new low cost flights that would benefit their constituents. If APD was axed, IAG could open new routes and operate LEVEL from regional airports”
LEVEL is unlike British Airways and Iberia. Instead, by focusing on low-cost travel, the airline offers a two class system. This means that aircraft are fitted with economy and premium economy seating. In the A321s economy is equipped with a 3-3 layout, while in the A330 it is arranged as 2-4-2. In contrast, the premium seating which is only available on the A330s comes in a 2-3-2 plan. Similar to Norwegians fare structure, Economy passengers have to pay extra for baggage and food, while premium customers have this included in their fare.
Have you flown on LEVEL? Let us know your thoughts below!