LEVEL (Barcelona El Prat) has confirmed it will open its next base at Paris Orly during the third quarter of 2018.

In a statement, parent firm IAG International Airlines Group said that effective July 2018, two A330-200s would be deployed to the Parisian gateway for use in opening up flights to each of Montréal Trudeau (3x weekly, starts July 2), Pointe à Pitre, Guadeloupe (4x weekly, starts July 3), Fort de France, Martinique (3x weekly, starts September 3), and Newark (4x weekly, starts September 4).

Confirming previous reports, Willie Walsh said LEVEL, as a virtual carrier, would operate using the Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), and by extension its traffic rights and Orly slots, of OpenSkies (EC, Paris Orly), a subsidiary of British Airways (BA, London Heathrow) which currently offers premium-class transatlantic services. Given this move, the OpenSkies brand will be phased out with the end of the 2018 Summer Season. Its staff will then be transferred to LEVEL.

“Like Barcelona El Prat, Orly is a Vueling Airlines (VY, Barcelona El Prat) hub which means that customers will be able to fly there from other parts of Europe to connect onto LEVEL," he said. "We will also benefit from the local experience and knowledge of the OpenSkies team."

Concerning the possibility of an Italian base, Europress quoted Walsh as saying LEVEL's entry into the Italian market would now likely only come in 2019, as opposed to the previously anticipated 2018 date.

From its only base, Barcelona, LEVEL currently operates to each of Los Angeles Int'l, Oakland, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, and Punta Cana. Service to Boston will commence in March 2018. According to Walsh, flights to Asia are also under consideration - Japan in particular - during 2019.