The International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways and Iberia among others, has announced that its Austria-based subsidiary, LEVEL Europe, will file for insolvency. This comes amid troubled times for the aviation industry as airlines battle to survive as a result of a significant drop in passenger demand.
One of LEVEL Europe's Airbus A321s registered OE-LCP. Photo by Jero Vida | AeroNewsX
Formerly known as ANISEC, allowed the International Airlines Group to gain market share in Austria, notably in Vienna - which is mainly a Lufthansa Group hub thanks to subsidiary, Austrian Airlines.
LEVEL Europe was founded in November 2017 by European airline conglomerate International Airlines Group (IAG) as an answer to the increasing low-cost competition in the IAGs key markets across Europe. The airline was originally to be named Vueling Austria, however was soon merged with fellow IAG low-cost long-haul subsidiary LEVEL which at the time had just begun operating long-haul services across the Atlantic from bases in Barcelona-El Prat and Paris-Orly. LEVEL Europe began operations in 2018 using four Airbus A321-200 and soon expanded with a second base in Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. This expansion was also accelerated through the addition of two Airbus A320-200 aircraft, bringing the total number of aircraft in the fleet to six.
LEVEL Europe has ceased trading effective immediately and is expected to announce its insolvency shortly - speculation suggests that this will occur tomorrow.
In a statement it said: "LEVEL Europe has been impacted by the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Once insolvency proceedings are filed, an Austrian court will appoint an administrator."
LEVEL Europe operated a fleet of five Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. Its entire fleet was grounded in early March as a result of the coronavirus crisis and subsequently travel restrictions.
The latest announcement does not, however, affect the LEVEL brands in Spain and France which are operated by Iberia and OpenSkies.
Article by Tom Jordan and Dillon Shah