LEVEL set to decide on second European base in 'next couple of months'
IAG CEO Willie Walsh, speaking at World Routes, revealed (24-Sep-2017) a decision on a second base for its LEVEL long haul operation will be made before the end of 2017. The introduction of three additional A330-200s in summer 2018 will support the airline's expansion into a second home market in 2018, with both Paris Orly and Rome Fiumicino under consideration. Like Barcelona El Prat, both have a strong Vueling short haul network to provide future feed into the long haul operations, an important flow when LEVEL looks to grow frequencies. "We will make a decision in the next couple of months", explained Mr Walsh. "We do prefer one over the other", he added, but noted that growth from Barcelona could also be on the cards. "At least two aircraft will be used, maybe three, but possibly we could also grow Barcelona from two to three based aircraft too." Alongside routes to the west, he also confirmed that eastbound markets could also form part of the LEVEL network and highlighted Barcelona - Tokyo as one example. "This is a market we will look at", he said, "but it can be a little more complicated".