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New Europe budget airline Level undercuts rivals on transatlantic fares

Level AircraftEurope’s new airline, Level, has marked its inauguration with a range of ultra low cost transatlantic fares. When the new kid on the block launched over the weekend, it offered online reservations for flights between Barcelona and California with base fares set at €99 (£86).

In a post on Twitter, Level claimed it had sold 52,000 seats in the initial foray. Travel industry insiders say the bulk of the cheaper fares for the debut flights in June have already gone, but there are still bargains to be had later in the year.

One analyst said round-trip fares between Barcelona and San Francisco’s Oakland Airport for travel between November and the week before Christmas averaged €250 (£217). The analyst noted that flying with rival budget airline Norwegian during the same period would cost double this amount.

Level is headquartered at Barcelona–El Prat Airport and its first flights will take to the skies this coming June. As well as San Francisco, the fledgling airline will fly to Los Angeles, the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires and the Dominican Republic resort area of Punta Cana.

Level’s base fares only include one standard size carry-on bag. Passengers have to pay extra for check-in luggage, food and drink, and wireless internet. Level is a part of the International Airlines Group (IAG) and stablemate of the UK’s national carrier, British Airways.

Level is IAG’s answer to the likes of Norwegian and Aer Lingus’s growing dominance of the transatlantic flight sector. Although the flights are sold under the badge of Level, IAG Spanish affiliate Iberia will be providing service.

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