The International Airlines Group (IAG)'s newest budget airline LEVEL launched during the weekend. The parent company of British Airways intends to use twin Airbus A330s by the second quarter of 2017 and it will guarantee flights priced less than $200 heading to Barcelona from different North and South American destinations.
According to Travel and Leisure, IAG had sold out tickets for LEVEL's initial launch flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, and Punta Cana heading into Spain with ticket prices beginning at €99 ($149). Flights will land directly into Barcelona. LEVEL may also charge additional fees including seat assignments, checked luggage and optional in-flight food.
According to USA Today Travel, LEVEL's initial flight tickets sold out quickly with 64,000 bookings during its first two days. It's booking website had timed-out frequently as it struggled to keep up with demand.
Flights booked during the weekend would begin by June with the four routes earlier mentioned. From Barcelona, two direct flights would head to Los Angeles and Oakland on June 1 and 2 respectively. Barcelona flights would head to Punta Cana and Buenos Aires a few days after on June 10 and 17 respectively.
According to International Air Group's Willie Walsh, the budget airline could fly to more than 30 A330s within less than a decade and could expand to different American states and European countries. Walsh said the budget airline's focus is profitability, which the company strongly believes the routes truly are. Walsh said the company's ambitions "go beyond what we've announced" and the market is "profitable."
The IAG CEO said Norwegian Airlines -- whose direct budget flights are a direct competitor to LEVEL -- has made it possible to motivate the ambition of IAG. He said Norwegian Airlines had "trailblazed" the entirely new market and had ironed out the issues often appearing with low-cost trans-Atlantic routes -- and that IAG's new budget airline will need to come up with competitive products and solutions to compete with Norwegian.
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