International Airlines Group (IAG) is considering Paris and Rome as potential bases for its new long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) Level, which plans to launch flights from Barcelona June 1.
Level will initially operate two Airbus A330s from Barcelona to Los Angeles, followed by San Francisco (Oakland) on June 2, Punta Cana on June 10 and Buenos Aires on June 17.
The two initial aircraft, part of a batch of five options previously taken out with Airbus, will be in a two-class configuration, with 21 premium economy and 293 economy seats.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh had already indicated Level was planning to expand to other European cities, but during the airline's first-quarter earnings call said "Rome and Paris are both under consideration [as bases] and that an announcement will be made in due course," an IAG spokeswoman confirmed.
Walsh added that two or three more aircraft will join Level's fleet to serve further destinations from summer 2018.
Level is seeking its own air operator's certificate (AOC), but the spokeswoman said the new carrier will operate initial flights from Barcelona under Spanish flag carrier Iberia's AOC, using Iberia crews.
The new airline will be based at Barcelona's El Prat airport, the hub of IAG's LCC Vueling, which is expected to act as a feeder for the new long-haul operation
Level is IAG's fifth mainline airline brand alongside Ireland flag carrier Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.