International Airlines Group’s (IAG) low-cost, long-haul carrier Level is set to launch flights from Vienna, Austria from July 17.
The new IAG subsidiary is the latest LCC to select Vienna as a strategic base or investment.
Other LCCs include:
- EasyJet Europe (which does not have a base in Vienna but registers 130 aircraft in Austria);
- Lufthansa LCC Eurowings Europe;
- New Austrian carrier LaudaMotion; and
- Central and Eastern European LCC Wizz Air.
Level—which offered 50,000 tickets for only one euro-cent if booked on July 2 for the summer season from Vienna—will have an Austrian air operator’s certificate (AOC) and plans to base four 210-seat Airbus A321s in Vienna from where it will fly to 14 European destinations.
On July 17, Level will launch flights to Palma de Majorca (Spain) and London Gatwick (UK). Over the subsequent four weeks, Level will launch flights from Vienna Terminal 1 to Barcelona, Malaga, Ibiza, Alicante, Valencia, Bilbao (Spain), Paris Charles de Gaulle (France), Milan Malpensa, Venice, Olbia (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Larnaca (Cyprus).
IAG CEO Willie Walsh said in a statement: “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.” He added the new carrier will initially create around 200 new jobs at the Vienna base.
Level can be seen as a reaction from IAG when an agreed-upon transaction to buy former bankrupt airberlin subsidiary NIKI failed. IAG had planned to buy NIKI assets via Spanish LCC Vueling in January when Niki Lauda retook ownership of NIKI and rebranded the bankrupt carrier as LaudaMotion.
ATW understands the Level A321 aircraft will be operated by Anisec Luftfahrt, which was founded as an indirect subsidiary of Vueling in November 2017. ATW understands Anisec is wholly owned by Austrian firm Waleria Beteiligungs.
Level’s A321s are the first narrowbody aircraft in its fleet. Level operates only A330-200s on long-haul routes from Barcelona and Paris Orly. Both airports are also a hub for Vueling.