LONDON, April 11 IAG plans to expand its new
low-cost, long-haul airline Level to other European cities,
after a successful first month that has seen bookings of the
Barcelona-based service top 100,000.
The airlines group, which owns British Airways, Iberia and
Ireland's Aer Lingus, launched Level on March 17, offering
flights from Barcelona to the Americas in response to rising
competition on transatlantic routes.
IAG's chief executive Willie Walsh said ticket sales in the
first month had been "incredible" and the airline would be
expanded over the next year.
"This is just the start. In summer 2018 we will have more
aircraft and will operate more destinations from Barcelona,"
Walsh said in a statement. "We're also planning to expand Level
operations to other European cities."
Level currently has just two Airbus A330s in its fleet, but
IAG is looking to expand the service to fend off low-cost
transatlantic offerings from the likes of Norwegian Air Shuttle
and Wow Air.
IAG's shares were up 3.5 percent, the second biggest rise on
the FTSE 100 index, with other airlines across Europe lifted
after Lufthansa said pricing had improved and the
German airline's stock was upgraded by Exane.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Potter)