Austrian Low-Cost Market Heats Up as IAG Enters the Frame


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IAG is to become the fourth low-cost carrier to operate out of Vienna with an Air Operator Certificate issued by the Austrian Civil Aviation Authority. The Group, which owns British Airways, Vueling and Iberia, among others, has announced the creation of a new low-cost carrier, LEVEL, which will service short-haul routes from the Austrian capital.

Level will join easyJet, Lufthansa offshoot Eurowings, and newly formed Laudamotion, a joint venture between Niki Lauda and Ryanair and the resurrection of the low-cost carrier, Niki, which folded with the demise of its parent company Air Berlin.

The new carrier will operate four Airbus A321 aircraft each with 210 economy seats and will service fourteen short-haul destinations from Vienna, with primary destinations including London Gatwick (14 flights per week), Paris Charles de Gaulle (13 flights per week) and Milan Malpensa (13 flights per week.) Other destinations include Palma, Barcelona, Malaga, Olbia (Sardinia), Venice, Ibiza, Dubrovnik, Larnaca, Alicante, Valencia and Bilbao.

LEVEL will commence commercial operations on July 17 with flights to London Gatwick and Palma.

According to IAG’s chief executive officer Willie Walsh:

“We are launching this new short-haul subsidiary to provide Austrian consumers with more flight choices across Europe. These flights will be branded as LEVEL to build upon the huge success of our new long haul low-cost operation. We will serve the Austrian market with low-cost, reliable flights and will initially create around 200 new jobs at our Vienna base.”