IAG challenges Air France-KLM in Paris

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Low-cost long-haul Level reveals four new routes

Pleased with its new low-cost long-haul unit’s performance in Barcelona, International Airlines Group is now taking Level to a bigger stage, to challenge the strength of Air France-KLM and its own new millennial-focused carrier Joon in Paris.

Level will launch four new routes from Paris Orly Airport from next July, to Montreal, New York and the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Tickets went on sale yesterday with one-way fares from €99 to Montreal and €129 to New York, says IAG, which is also the parent of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh revealed that Paris won over Rome as a second base for Level, which operates single-aisle Airbus aircraft. He also stressed, “We believe long-haul, low-cost routes can be profitable.”

Strategic defence
Level is designed to help IAG defend its markets against other discount long-haul operations, including Norwegian. The latest news also comes as Air France prepares to roll out Joon.

Level aims to have 30 planes by 2020, from two at the moment and three on order. It is reported to be looking at the second-hand aircraft market, though it missed out on acquiring Air Berlin’s planes. Besides its transatlantic routes, it may add flights to Asia by 2022.

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