IAG Launches a Low-Cost Carrier — Skift Business Traveler

Credit: skift.com

IAG

A promotional image of a Level aircraft, the new low-cost entry from IAG. IAG



Skift Take: Those who use Avios as a frequent flyer currency will soon have a new budget carrier on which to earn and spend miles. Sadly, Oneworld partners can't say the same.

— Grant Martin

What to Know Now


IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and a handful of other airlines, launched Level, a new budget carrier last week to compete with the likes of Norwegian and Wow. And the best news is that passengers will be able to earn and spend Avios points on the airline — the same loyalty currency used across all of IAG.


The bad news, however, is that Level won’t join Oneworld, the alliance that ties American, IAG, Qantas and a host of other global carriers together. Oh, and that Level is a two-class plane with no business/first cabin and is effectively an à la carte frenzy.


Still, a select budget carrier from IAG is much better than just forcing current products into the dumpster to compete with low-cost carriers (though some might argue that British is headed there anyway.) Level should bring a fresh hope to Avios travelers.


SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY


New #IAG Airline Level sells 52,000 tickets on Day One


@Aviationizer | Trending in Aviation



Airlines


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United Airlines CEO Is ‘Not Happy’ With Delays at Polaris Seat Manufacturer: For months, United Airlines has teased customers with advertisements for its new Polaris class seats, featuring all the goodies international premium customers expect, like direct-aisle access, a high-definition television monitor, and cubbies for storage. But Zodiac, the European firm that makes those seats, is having fiscal and operational challenges, and its relationship with United is suffering, the airline’s CEO admitted Tuesday. Read more at Skift


American Is Latest Airline to Bring Back Free Food — on Two Domestic Routes: American Airlines said Tuesday it will bring meals back to coach on two key transcontinental routes, but it stopped short of matching Delta Air Lines, which by next month will be serving free food on a dozen routes. Read more at Skift


JetBlue Evaluates Fleet Plan as It Considers Flying to Europe: JetBlue Airways is doing a “major review” of its fleet, asking whether 100-seat Embraer 190s still fit in the airline’s network and if the carrier should acquire a long-range Airbus aircraft capable of flying to Europe, its CEO said Tuesday. Read more at Skift


Airports


Etihad Is Adding Bigger Planes to Paris Routes as Travel Demand Rebounds: Etihad Airways is introducing its superjumbo aircraft to Paris in a vote of confidence that the French market is rebounding from a travel slump following a spate of terror attacks. Read more at Skift


Donald Trump’s New Budget Calls for Air Traffic Control Privatization: The proposal says spinning off air traffic operations from the Federal Aviation Administration and placing them under an “independent, non-governmental organization” would make the system “more efficient and innovative while maintaining safety.” Read more at Skift


Etihad Thinks Its Abu Dhabi Pre-Clearance Facility Has an Edge Over Other Gulf Carriers: A U.S. border post in Abu Dhabi has handed local carrier Etihad Airways an advantage over its Persian Gulf rivals following President Donald Trump’s moves to curb immigration from a clutch of mainly Muslim countries. Read more at Skift



Tech


The Hospitality Startup That Wants to Make a Business Out of Luxury Pop-Up Hotels: When Peter Mack was working as vice president of product design and innovation in 2014 for Tough Mudder, the notoriously challenging obstacle course/mud run, he had an epiphany in the middle of one of the races. That realization led to Mack’s departure from Tough Mudder in 2014 and since then, he’s been working to develop Collective Retreats, specializing in mobile accommodations. Read more at Skift


U.S. Business Travelers See Terrorism as Most Important Concern: It has now been some time since a major terror attack has occurred in a North American or European city, but business travelers are still concerned about the specter of violence that hangs over a potential international trip. Read more at Skift


Interview: Facebook’s Head of Travel on Hotels Going Mobile: If hotels aren’t paying enough attention to mobile right now, they’re missing out. That’s the primary message Facebook Head of Travel, Christine Warner, has for hotel brands. Read more at Skift



Hotels


Queen Mary Floating Hotel in Los Angeles Would Take $300 Million to Repair: The Queen Mary is so corroded that it’s at urgent risk of flooding or collapse, and the price tag for fixing up the 1930s ocean liner could near $300 million, according to a survey done by experts. Read more at Skift


The Other Airbnbs: Alternative Home-Sharing Rentals: What Airbnb has popularized — the peer-to-peer rental of apartments, homes and spare bedrooms — the market has embellished with a roster of new and growing services that offer home sharing. Read more at The New York Times


Marriott CEO Says More Hotel Mega-Mergers Are Likely: Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson concedes the company’s “hands are full” integrating Starwood, but he doesn’t believe the hotel chain is “done forever” in terms of mergers and acquisitions. Read more at Skift


Your Turn


Everyone’s old friend Matt Gross wrote a quick piece on Medium on how to build out your office bar cart. Find it here.


Tips and Comments


Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin


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