LONDON: International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, plans to launch low-cost airline to grab a slice of the nascent market for no-frills long-haul air travel.
The group said it would start flying from Barcelona’s El Prat airport to the US in June, either under the banner of a new airline, as part of “legacy” carriers BA and Iberia, or via its lowest-cost long-haul airline Aer Lingus, The Guardian said.
The move comes after a summer in which low-cost airlines, lead by Norwegian Air Shuttle, have shaken up the Europe to North America travel market by offering ticket prices as little as half what rivals charge.
IAG’s budget airline brand Vueling uses Barcelona El Prat as a hub, and IAG said on Friday that Vueling passengers could feed into its long-haul flights at the airport, adding that it had not yet decided whether to set up a new airline or use existing resources from its airlines.
As well as British Airways and Vueling, IAG also owns Spain-based Iberia and Ireland-based Aer Lingus.
“Barcelona has become a significant airport hub and we believe that there is a demand for these flights from El Prat,” IAG said in an emailed statement.