LEVEL, the low cost brand of International Airlines Group, is making its first move into European short-haul travel, with the launch of flights to Vienna.
LEVEL will fly from London Gatwick to Vienna up to twice daily from Tuesday 17 July 2018.
The flights will be in fact be operated by a subsidiary of IAG’s Vueling, which appears to be called Anisec. Indeed, the flights are booked through the Vueling website.
This is par the course for LEVEL which only exists as a brand and uses other airlines in IAG to operate flights. Apparently the reason why the LEVEL brand name has been chosen because it works much better than Vueling in German speaking markets.
Flights will be operated with Airbus A321 aircraft with 210 economy seats. From a test booking, it appears that Vueling’s “Excellence” business class type product will not be offered. Otherwise, the customer proposition is largely the same as Vueling with charges for checked bags and catering. It is assumed that LEVEL will join BA and Vueling in the Gatwick South terminal.
The background to this is that IAG did try to purchase assets of the Austrian airline Niki in late December after its parent Air Berlin went into administration. However, following a court order that the sale process was invalid, Niki Lauder, the airline’s founder was the successful bidder.
Other destinations LEVEL will serve from Vienna include Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Larnaca, Malaga, Milan Malpensa, Olbia, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Valencia and Venice.
BA also flies from London Gatwick to Vienna on a winter seasonal from Sunday 28 October 2019 to Friday 29 March 2019. It’s not clear yet whether BA will codeshare with LEVEL.
In terms of the prospects of success in the UK, in spite of the fact IAG has been in existence for seven years, BA’s sister airlines have always had something of a scatter-gun approach to the UK market.
Vueling serves Barcelona and a smattering of other destinations in Spain and mainland Europe from Gatwick, Heathrow and many other UK airports, but without a coherent marketing message and little brand presence. Iberia has also had limited success in London. It has launched and suspended a number of routes from Heathrow such as Asturias, Gran Canaria, Palma and Tenerife. It remains to be seen how successful LEVEL will be in the UK market.
London Gatwick – Vienna
Flight VY4051 Depart London Gatwick 12:55 – Arrive Vienna 16:55
Flight VY4053 Depart London Gatwick 18:20 – Arrive Vienna 21:40
Flight VY4050 Depart Vienna 10:50 – Arrive London Gatwick 12:10
Flight VY4052 Depart Vienna 16:20 – Arrive London Gatwick 17:35