British Airways has launched a war on low-cost long-haul airlines by offering its own cheaper deals to far-flung destinations.
The airline’s owner IAG has faced increasing pressure from airlines which are offering flights to South America, the US and the Caribbean for a fraction of BA’s ticket price.
British Airways has also struggled to appeal to business class customers and is overhauling its model to entice travellers to pay a premium with the airline again.
Flight fight: British Airways owner IAG has faced increasing pressure from airlines which are offering flights to South America, the US and the Caribbean for a fraction of BA’s ticket price
Last year IAG launched low-cost long-haul airline Level and it also operates budget long-distance flights through its Irish carrier Aer Lingus.
Its increasing efforts come as Norwegian unveiled its first foray into South America with one-way flights from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires starting at £259.90.
The upstart firm has already had huge success with cheaper routes to New York.
Level runs flights from Paris and Barcelona which have previously been underserved by budget long-haul carriers.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said the launch of Level has been ‘fantastic’ for the group, with three new aircraft planned for the airline this year, adding: ‘It gives us significant advantages over our competitors.’
UK customers are taking advantage of cheaper flights by travelling to Dublin and flying with its budget carrier Aer Lingus, which flies to North America from £149 each way.
Ireland abolished air passenger duty in 2014, helping Dublin attract more routes.