LONDON – Following many months of interest in the Austrian market, IAG (International Airlines Group) is to open up a new low-cost operation through its LEVEL brand with an Austrian AOC.
The carrier will begin operations with four Airbus A321s, previously owned by Air Berlin. The planes will have a configuration of 210 seats in an all-Economy Class layout.
According to IAG, flights from Vienna will first begin to Majorca and London-Gatwick, with the list of destinations increasing to Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Malaga, Valencia, Milan-Malpensa, Olbia, Venice, Paris-CDG, Dubrovnik, and Larnaca.
“We are launching this new short-haul subsidiary to provide Austrian consumers with more flight choices across Europe,” said IAG’s CEO, Willie Walsh.
“These flights will be branded as LEVEL to build upon the huge success of the long-haul low-cost operation.”
Walsh also added that on this new subsidiary, passengers can carry one item of hand luggage on board for free, while checked-in luggage, food, and beverages will be available for a fee.
IAG vs. Lufthansa
Courtesy of data provided by Flightglobal, IAG is looking to immediately take on the Lufthansa Group.
From Vienna, LEVEL will go into competition with Lufthansa’s Eurowings and Austrian on eight routes, consisting of Alicante, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Larnaca, Milan-Malpensa, Olbia, Paris-CDG, and Venice.
With the dismantling of Air Berlin not going in IAG’s favour and the potential takeover of Norwegian by both airline groups, the competition is intensifying.
The good news, however, comes in for the paying passengers, who will now have a myriad of low-cost options to choose from. In the meantime, the battle between IAG and the Lufthansa Group will continue on the rise.