20 MAR 2017: IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, and Aer Lingus, will launch a low-cost transatlantic airline in June called Level. Flights will be operated on Airbus A330s configured with just two classes - economy and premium economy. Fares beginning at $149 are now on sale at flylevel.com. Economy passengers will pay extra for checked bags, meals, seat selection and WiFi.
Level will be based in Barcelona and commence operations with flights from the Spanish city to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana.
Each one of LEVEL's Airbus A330s will be equipped with 21 premium economy and 293 economy seats. Passengers flying in premium economy will have access to complimentary meals, in-flight entertainment, seat selection, and a piece of checked luggage. However, these features will be a la carte for those flying in economy.
"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," IAG CEO Willie Walsh said in a statement. "It will benefit from having the strength of one of the world's largest airline groups behind it."
Walsh said Level will share its base of operations with Vueling, allowing passengers to connect from the transatlantic routes to Vueling's continental network.
IAG said in January that it would launch a long-haul operation out of Barcelona. At the time, IAG didn't say whether the new operation would fly as a new brand or whether it would operate as a low-cost carrier.
Level is IAG's answer to the growing discount transatlantic operations of Norwegian Air, Wow and WestJet.
Its Barcelona-Oakland service will compete directly with Norwegian Air, which will launch that route on June 5. Level is also IAG's low-cost answer to Western Europe's two other major legacy airline groups. Lufthansa agreed late last year to lease 40 aircraft from struggling competitor Air Berlin, with 35 of those planes to be put toward an expansion of its low-cost unit, Eurowings.
And last November, Air France-KLM said it would launch a new company to operate out of Paris Charles de Gaulle alongside Air France.
Level aircraft will be outfitted with mood lighting. All passengers will have access to free seatback entertainment.