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IAG rules out using Monarch slots for Level operations

London Gatwick airport slots purchased by IAG from the administrators of Monarch Airlines will not be used for Level flights and will instead be used to expand British Airways operations at the gateway, group chief executive Willie Walsh has disclosed.

"I have been quite open that at this point Level is not going to operate out of the UK," Walsh told FlightGlobal at the Aviation Carbon conference in London today. "It may at some stage in the future, but we are not looking at Gatwick for Level at this point."

IAG launched operations with its new long-haul, low-cost brand Level from Barcelona in the summer and has just unveiled plans for it to launch services out of Paris Orly in 2018.

Walsh says IAG's move for the Gatwick slots was part of a broader interest at the airport. "It is a good airport for us, it works well, and we have been looking to increase our presence there," he says.

He adds that BA will be adding new international routes from Gatwick as a result of the purchase.

BA is the second-biggest carrier at Gatwick and recent expansion has included new long-haul destinations such as Oakland and Fort Lauderdale, both of which put it in competition with Norwegian. Next summer, BA will add Gatwick flights to Las Vegas and Toronto.

IAG agreed to buy Monarch's slots late last month for an undisclosed sum following a UK High Court ruling that administrators KPMG could sell them.

Monarch grounded flights in October.

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