IAG’s Paris Orly-based long-haul budget unit, Level France, is to cease operations after seeing demand for its transatlantic services plummet.

The airline began in 2006 and was formerly known as OpenSkies before being rebranded as Level France in 2018.

Level France aircraft at Orly June 2020

Source: Shutterstock

Level France aircraft parked at Paris Orly airport

“In light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the expectation that passenger demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2023 at the earliest, OpenSkies is formally notifying its works council about a proposed cessation of operations and the development of an employment safeguard plan,” says Level France in a statement.

The carrier adds that it has faced “challenging circumstances since its creation”, and has been further impacted by the “unprecedented crisis” caused by Covid-19.

Consultations with employee representatives will begin on 15 July.

The news comes less than a month after IAG’s Vienna-based subsidiary, Level Europe, filed for insolvency, and does not impact the group’s Barcelona-based long-haul unit, also branded as Level.

“This process has nothing to do with Level operations in Barcelona, which are unaffected,” says IAG.

Cirium fleets data shows that Level France has a fleet of three Airbus A330-200s. Two of the aircraft are owned by Iberia and one is leased from Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing (CALC).