IAG’s level will next week return to the skies from Barcelona. The low-cost airline will be resuming its route to New York to provide cargo capacity for IAG’s cargo division. The airline will utilize an Airbus A330-200 for the transatlantic trip.
Around the world, many services are still grounded following the COVID-19 pandemic. This is due to a lack of passenger demand to make the route a viable choice. However, the side effects of a lack of passenger flights are that cargo capacity has also plummeted. With far fewer flights operating, that is much less space in the belly of passenger planes for cargo.
Half a year grounded
LEVEL’s Barcelona service will be the first operated by the airline since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IAG cargo, LEVEL’s transatlantic services have been grounded since March. While Barcelona to New York has been announced, further route resumptions weren’t mentioned by IAG Cargo.
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The route from Barcelona to New York will resume on Friday, September 11th. According to schedule information from Google Flights, the trip will be operated by Iberia for LEVEL Spain. The flight will depart from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport (BCN) at 15:20, before touching down in New York (JFK) at 18:15.
The aircraft will then remain on the ground for over 48 hours, as its return leg isn’t scheduled until Sunday, September 13th. This will see the Airbus A330 departing from JFK at 20:05. Following a 7-hour and 45-minute flight, the aircraft will arrive back in Barcelona at 09:50 on Monday, almost three days after its departure.
Commenting, John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo said,
“We are delighted that LEVEL has been able to resume operations and get passengers back in the skies. Increased passenger flights mean more options for IAG Cargo customers. We look forward to supplying these important markets with much needed air cargo capacity.”
Why is IAG Cargo interested?
You may ask why IAG Cargo is interested in a route being flown by an original IAG airline, Iberia, for IAG’s low-cost LEVEL subsidiary. While the British Airways livery used to adorn three Boeing 747-8F aircraft, IAG Cargo has none of its own aircraft. As such, it relies on the hold space of other IAG aircraft to move its shipments around the world.
According to the airline, the route from Barcelona to New York is an important trade corridor between Southern Europe and the Americas. However, with the grounding of many passenger aircraft, the belly space that IAG Cargo used to use has become scarce. To cope with the lack of capacity, IAG cargo has been using many British Airways aircraft for cargo operations, including the new Boeing 787-10s, and two specially outfitted Boeing 777 aircraft.
Are you pleased to see that LEVEL is restarting transatlantic operations from Barcelona? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!