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senatorflyer
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Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:10 pm

I have just noticed that there is an A321 to be delivered to Level. I think we all know that IAG is busy setting up something in Austria. But I was under the impression it would be a Vueling outlet. Or is the A321 to be based somewhere else? Anyone got any infos?

https://m.planespotters.net/airframe/Ai ... i/GJx9TPeR
 
LHRFlyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:11 pm

I understand it will be branded as LEVEL, but operated by Vueling Austria.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:14 pm

LHRFlyer wrote:
I understand it will be branded as LEVEL, but operated by Vueling Austria.


That’s even more confusing since the registered company in Austria is not even called Vueling Austria.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:15 pm

Interesting.

Maybe this is the first step in getting rid of Vueling for good!
 
a350lover
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:39 pm

What are the plans for this A321? To be based in VIE? Nothing has been actually confirmed about the Vueling VIE base.

Level seemed to be more linked to long-haul ops, at least for what we have seen of them so far in barcelona and soon in ORY.
 
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Polot
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:19 pm

a350lover wrote:
What are the plans for this A321? To be based in VIE? Nothing has been actually confirmed about the Vueling VIE base.

Level seemed to be more linked to long-haul ops, at least for what we have seen of them so far in barcelona and soon in ORY.

It wouldn’t surprise me if IAG eventually merges the Level and Vueling brands (like what SQ did with Scoot and Tiger). There is really no point in having a separate long haul LCC brand and a separate short haul LCC brand if they are both targeting the same type of passenger. Level probably has the inside track, it works better on an international level than Vueling and hasn’t been dragged through the mud due to operational difficulties and the like.
 
a350lover
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:25 pm

When last year IAG created LEVEL all of a sudden (just to tackle a little the DY expansion at BCN), they firstly thought about Vueling. However, Vueling operational difficulties, and the fact they are just a short-haul airline with no crews trained to operate long haul, etc. made IAG decide for Iberia to operate LEVEL. At some point, Walsh said Iberia's operation for LEVEL had reached a point which was "efficient", which sounds quite surprising, even though the labour employed at LEVEL are mainly the youngest among Iberia.

I see the difficulties to market Vueling as an international carrier. However, change it all to a LEVEL brand would be quite expensive too.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:40 pm

What gets me is that IAG seems to be as focused as LH with Eurowings. You create this new brand Level, was kind of a 5 min job, operated by Iberia, thought later of killing Open skies and integrate it in Level, while working on a so called Vueling Austria knowing for a fact that its reputation is pretty bad and many people can’t even pronounce its name. Then mix it all up for good measure and have an A321 in Level branding operated by Vueling, if that’s true what was said earlier.

Why on earth didn’t IAG create a new proper brand, merge the whole stuff and getting rid of the bad rep. of Vueling?
 
AAMDanny
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:55 pm

I'm confused with why IAG can not just have one pan-euro loco brand?

IberiaExpress
Vueling
Level

Can the 3 not just be rolled into one brand?
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:55 pm

I think Iberia Express is not a LCC as such. It was created to save some cost at Iberia. Service is nearly identical to Iberia.
 
BA174
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:35 pm

a350lover wrote:
When last year IAG created LEVEL all of a sudden (just to tackle a little the DY expansion at BCN), they firstly thought about Vueling. However, Vueling operational difficulties, and the fact they are just a short-haul airline with no crews trained to operate long haul, etc. made IAG decide for Iberia to operate LEVEL. At some point, Walsh said Iberia's operation for LEVEL had reached a point which was "efficient", which sounds quite surprising, even though the labour employed at LEVEL are mainly the youngest among Iberia.

I see the difficulties to market Vueling as an international carrier. However, change it all to a LEVEL brand would be quite expensive too.


Aren’t LEVEL operated flights switching from Iberia crew to OpenSkies crew in the not too distant future. I notice two of the OpenSkies 757s have already gone as GPEK returned to BA and is now stored at Lasham.
 
a350lover
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:51 pm

AAMDanny wrote:
I'm confused with why IAG can not just have one pan-euro loco brand?

IberiaExpress
Vueling
Level

Can the 3 not just be rolled into one brand?


Very good point. They all come from very different approaches mainly due to one reason: labour costs.

Vueling is some sort of former Clickair, which was at the same time, kinda the same Iberia Express is in MAD, but in BCN. Level is just an airplane livery and a brand on uniforms; the whole thing behind is either Iberia (for BCN base) or Openskies (for ORY). I wouldn't be surprised if they just dropped all LEVEL operations if for whatever reason Norwegian fails and cease long-haul operations.

As much as Europe seems to hate Vueling, the airline is ultra-strong and number 1 in Barcelona, so any move on that I guess IAG is going to be quite careful because Barcelona short-haul-low-cost is a big cake which I am pretty sure IAG does not want to give away.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:30 pm

And one can do nothing but remembering press notes a few months old where IAG was considering using 787s instead of A330s for Level. One step closer to consolidate one more AB-only fleet in the whole IAG corp. Only BA doing things weirdly, but I guess that's cultural heritage from its island...

Curious about if the livery will look "a bit" nicer in the A321. Not so much white area.

AAMDanny wrote:
I'm confused with why IAG can not just have one pan-euro loco brand?

IberiaExpress
Vueling
Level

Can the 3 not just be rolled into one brand?


As mentioned above, each brand has its own circumstances:

IberiaExpress >> Created to put pressure on salaries and avoid strikes, but keeping it as aligned to IB as possible, still and will continue to be its main national feeder for LH.

Vueling >> Market leader for LCC and short range in BCN. You need to consider that such position (and its history, was created by a group from BCN with plenty of public support to establish a competition with MAD, LH form BCN by VY was actually planned initially). Any merge or cut in VY will be seen and fight as a regional attack to Barcelona/Catalonia and identity theft (as stupid as it sounds). Politics play a tough game there, where if you put a holiday LCC destination in a mix with FR and U2, plus politic pressure, strikes and protests, can destroy not only the cash flow but the whole airline.

Level >> Created "quick and dirty" to replicate DY in case it success, or to contribute to make it fail and be reabsorbed easily.

It actually makes sense to keep the silos up and take actions only when needed.
 
Planesmart
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:49 pm

AAMDanny wrote:
I'm confused with why IAG can not just have one pan-euro loco brand?

IberiaExpress
Vueling
Level

Can the 3 not just be rolled into one brand?

Behind the brands are employment, route, airport and operating contracts and obligations.

Over time, the brands will be rationalised. Until the post-Brexit environment is 100% certain, what looks cumbersome to outsiders, offers flexibility and options to the group.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:38 pm

Planesmart wrote:
AAMDanny wrote:
I'm confused with why IAG can not just have one pan-euro loco brand?

IberiaExpress
Vueling
Level

Can the 3 not just be rolled into one brand?

Behind the brands are employment, route, airport and operating contracts and obligations.

Over time, the brands will be rationalised. Until the post-Brexit environment is 100% certain, what looks cumbersome to outsiders, offers flexibility and options to the group.


None of those airlines listed have anything to do with Brexit.
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:42 pm

Long Term I’m sure IAG will consolidate its LCC brands. But having a separate long and short haul brand for now might be a good thing. IAG can try different products, different operational and revenue models without affecting the other operation, if it all goes wrong. IAG is very open that each unit needs to earn its keep and retun investment, so in this period may not be a bad thing.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:45 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
Long Term I’m sure IAG will consolidate its LCC brands. But having a separate long and short haul brand for now might be a good thing. IAG can try different products, different operational and revenue models without affecting the other operation, if it all goes wrong. IAG is very open that each unit needs to earn its keep and retun investment, so in this period may not be a bad thing.


Where does the Level A321 fit in then? That’s what I am wondering.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:06 pm

senatorflyer wrote:
Where does the Level A321 fit in then? That’s what I am wondering.


Back to BA, EI, IB or BY, who already operates it, as soon as "the thing" (level) gets shut down. Meanwhile, replacing EC's 757 in Paris :)
 
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Channex757
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:00 am

How I see it is that Willie Walsh has a section of IAG being used as a brand incubator. With the failure of Air Berlin and questions being asked of both Norwegian and Eurowings, just like Ryanair has done there is space in which Walsh sees value emerging and therefore is "dabbling".

The core IAG businesses like BA, Aer Lingus and Iberia are stable and generating cash. Vueling too is a cash generator but could be better. Openskies has never made the money it needed to survive. This period of trying trademarks and products in different markets isn't costing the mothership very much in resources and in the case of aircraft they can easily be absorbed if it goes wrong. Level is a sharp trademark and that alone is going to create value as it's easy to remember. Tapping IB for widebodies and Vueling for shorthaul expertise just makes sense. If it works out then consolidate the brand with its own AOC and planes.

Doing it all this way may look complicated but it's a minimum risk strategy, as Openskies was dying on its arse anyway.
 
jghealey
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LEVEL A321s

Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:44 am

I just noticed that LEVEL (IAG's LCC) is acquiring a pair of ex-Niki/Air Berlin A321s - OE-LCP/R I think. Does anyone know where these will be based and what routes they will be used for? I wouldn't have thought A321-200s can handle transatlantic routes so it will be interesting to see LEVEL branch into the short-haul market.
 
Andy33
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Re: LEVEL A321s

Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:52 am

jghealey wrote:
I just noticed that LEVEL (IAG's LCC) is acquiring a pair of ex-Niki/Air Berlin A321s - OE-LCP/R I think. Does anyone know where these will be based and what routes they will be used for? I wouldn't have thought A321-200s can handle transatlantic routes so it will be interesting to see LEVEL branch into the short-haul market.

Well LEVEL isn't IAG's only LCC, of course. Vueling has been the vehicle for shorthaul expansion so far. However the Vueling brand has been damaged by persistent operational failures and lost/delayed baggage issues. There's also the undeniable fact that half Europe has difficulty pronouncing the name Vueling.
Other threads have covered the topic of the A321 acquisitions and in them it was said that the planes would be Vienna-based. After the collapse of Air Berlin IAG tried to buy Niki (indeed, succeeded, but a court intervened) so they obviously believe that despite other airlines piling in, there is scope for expansion in that area.
 
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LuxuryTravelled
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:39 am

Don't think of LEVEL as being a low cost airline (in its own entity), it's a brand which is available to each airline within the group to leverage a low cost operation. In the Austria case, Germanic countries have an issue with pronouncing Vueling. So you would have a structure like this:


Paris: LEVEL operated by Openskies

Barcelona: LEVEL operated by Iberia

Vienna: LEVEL operated by Vueling Austria
 
jghealey
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:19 am

LuxuryTravelled wrote:
Don't think of LEVEL as being a low cost airline (in its own entity), it's a brand which is available to each airline within the group to leverage a low cost operation. In the Austria case, Germanic countries have an issue with pronouncing Vueling. So you would have a structure like this:


Paris: LEVEL operated by Openskies

Barcelona: LEVEL operated by Iberia

Vienna: LEVEL operated by Vueling Austria


This really is turning into a bit of a mess... IAG should just merge them all into Level.
 
aidoair
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:40 pm

jghealey wrote:
LuxuryTravelled wrote:
Don't think of LEVEL as being a low cost airline (in its own entity), it's a brand which is available to each airline within the group to leverage a low cost operation. In the Austria case, Germanic countries have an issue with pronouncing Vueling. So you would have a structure like this:


Paris: LEVEL operated by Openskies

Barcelona: LEVEL operated by Iberia

Vienna: LEVEL operated by Vueling Austria


This really is turning into a bit of a mess... IAG should just merge them all into Level.


Personally i think that is what will eventually happen, plus i feel it makes a lot of sense to streamline the brands. From a brand name perspective alone, outside of Spain Vueling can be hard to pronounce correctly or even if there is a correct way which has come to conversation of late... Alongside that, the above mentioned past reputation of the brand still lingers. With further initial slow growth of the Level brand to build awareness in the shorthaul market, it would easily work as IAG's singular low cost airline (in its specific markets) for both LH and SH as Eurowings does for Lufthansa.

As for Iberia Express, hopefully agreements within Iberia/Spain will change - leading to the brand returning under the Iberia mainline operations once again and all the staff integrated to work under the same name. This would further standardise the IAG operations and the Iberia brand. Despite operating almost identically, we know that Iberia Express was only set up as a "separate" company to lower the workforce costs and to remove some of the higher overheads the legacy Iberia carries. In the UK this was done at British Airways by introducing Mixed Fleet cabin crews at LHR, renewed staff contracts at LGW along with many other internal reductions and/or changes. Luckily here no separate brand name or company was needed to achieve this.
 
jghealey
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:36 pm

aidoair wrote:
jghealey wrote:
LuxuryTravelled wrote:
Don't think of LEVEL as being a low cost airline (in its own entity), it's a brand which is available to each airline within the group to leverage a low cost operation. In the Austria case, Germanic countries have an issue with pronouncing Vueling. So you would have a structure like this:


Paris: LEVEL operated by Openskies

Barcelona: LEVEL operated by Iberia

Vienna: LEVEL operated by Vueling Austria


This really is turning into a bit of a mess... IAG should just merge them all into Level.


Personally i think that is what will eventually happen, plus i feel it makes a lot of sense to streamline the brands. From a brand name perspective alone, outside of Spain Vueling can be hard to pronounce correctly or even if there is a correct way which has come to conversation of late... Alongside that, the above mentioned past reputation of the brand still lingers. With further initial slow growth of the Level brand to build awareness in the shorthaul market, it would easily work as IAG's singular low cost airline (in its specific markets) for both LH and SH as Eurowings does for Lufthansa.

As for Iberia Express, hopefully agreements within Iberia/Spain will change - leading to the brand returning under the Iberia mainline operations once again and all the staff integrated to work under the same name. This would further standardise the IAG operations and the Iberia brand. Despite operating almost identically, we know that Iberia Express was only set up as a "separate" company to lower the workforce costs and to remove some of the higher overheads the legacy Iberia carries. In the UK this was done at British Airways by introducing Mixed Fleet cabin crews at LHR, renewed staff contracts at LGW along with many other internal reductions and/or changes. Luckily here no separate brand name or company was needed to achieve this.

Exactly.
 
a350lover
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:04 pm

[quote="aidoair"]
As for Iberia Express, hopefully agreements within Iberia/Spain will change - leading to the brand returning under the Iberia mainline operations once again and all the staff integrated to work under the same name. /quote]

Everything is possible in aviation, but that is not very likely. They are 100% different airlines with very very different conditions.
 
Someone83
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:33 am

Seem slike the first is done painted. Anyone seen any photos?

Airbus A321 -211 6454 OE-LCN Anisec Luftfahrt delivery 26jun18 BTS-VIE, after paint into Level cs ex HB-IOU
 
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helmat
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:13 am

 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 2:42 pm

2nd A321 was delivered yesterday.
 
senatorflyer
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:31 pm

3rd one coming as well

Link in German

https://www.aerotelegraph.com/anisec-ni ... ckenfluege
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:54 pm

OE-LCR here...

 
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julianrv
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:08 pm

Only time will tell if IAG decides to replace the Vueling brand with LEVEL but at the moment the reason why those 3 aircraft are going under a different AOC and brand is that Vueling pilot contract, collective bargaining agreement as per spanish work regulations, has a clause where any bases outside Spain should be manned by personnel with spanish contract or their working conditions should be agreed with the spanish pilots union (SEPLA)

Vueling/IAG management wants to be free to set the working conditions for the new base and that's why they're using the LEVEL brand and a separate AOC, looks pretty much that this is 'Vueling Express'.
 
a350lover
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:32 pm

julianrv wrote:

Vueling/IAG management wants to be free to set the working conditions for the new base and that's why they're using the LEVEL brand and a separate AOC, looks pretty much that this is 'Vueling Express'.


Very good point. As far as I know, part of the reasons why Vueling pilots went on strike last May was this. They wanted to have a say at where the airline should put the production and the growths. This was of course denied by the airline, but still, LEVEL seems now like the perfect option for securing international growth. On top of that, it sorts out the issue which half Europe seems to have to pronnounce the Spanish brand.

The question to me know is whether this LEVEL VIE is going to be connected at any extent to any future growth of the LEVEL long-haul sections both in ORY and in BCN. I guess Vueling still will keep its presence (AOC + brand) on those international markets where they have a relatively large presence, namely ORY, FCO, AMS....?
 
CeddP
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:40 pm

Nobody mentioned Anisec, which appears to be the "official" airline under that austrian AOC. The only thing I could find is from their LinkedIn profile :

ANISEC, a new European airline start-up, seeks to take air services to a new level. Based in Vienna, ANISEC will commence operations shortly.

We want to put together a team of aviation professionals ready to take on the challenge of building and growing a start-up operation for the Central European market.

If you have what it takes to be part of this project, reach out to us and let us know why.

CVs can be submitted to [email protected]
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: Level to receive an A321 (ex Niki)?

Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:02 am

senatorflyer wrote:
What gets me is that IAG seems to be as focused as LH with Eurowings. You create this new brand Level, was kind of a 5 min job, operated by Iberia, thought later of killing Open skies and integrate it in Level, while working on a so called Vueling Austria knowing for a fact that its reputation is pretty bad and many people can’t even pronounce its name. Then mix it all up for good measure and have an A321 in Level branding operated by Vueling, if that’s true what was said earlier.

Why on earth didn’t IAG create a new proper brand, merge the whole stuff and getting rid of the bad rep. of Vueling?


It's just history in motion and par for the course.

All of these little airlines such as Level and Joon will have their day in the sun before merging back with their mother airlines a la Ted and Song and no doubt, countless others over the years.
Vahroone

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