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IAG to close OpenSkies as Level opens Paris Orly base

IAG is to close its OpenSkies operation and transfer personnel to its long-haul low-cost carrier Level, after opting to open new base for the budget carrier at Paris Orly.

Level will have two 314-seat Airbus A330-200s based at Orly and serve routes to Newark, Montreal, Guadeloupe and Martinique from July next year.

IAG confirms that its OpenSkies division – which serves New York and Newark from Orly – will "cease to operate" at the end of next summer.

All personnel at OpenSkies will be transferred to Level flights.

IAG had signalled that Paris was a candidate base for Level following the budget operator's successful debut at Barcelona.

Level will open a new route to Boston from Barcelona in March as part of the expansion, adding to the four routes already served by the carrier from the Spanish city.

The Barcelona operation will also receive a third A330 later in 2018.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh says Orly – like Barcelona – is a hub for its Spanish budget operator Vueling, which will be able to act as a feeder.

"Customer will be able to fly [to Orly] from other parts of Europe to connect onto Level," he says. "We will also benefit from the local experience and knowledge of the OpenSkies team."

Level services from Paris to Montreal and Guadeloupe will begin in the first week of July 2018 while the Newark and Martinique flights will commence in early September.

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