International Airlines Group (IAG) said it will start low-cost long-haul flights from Barcelona this year, in an apparent response to increasing budget competition on transatlantic routes.
International Airlines Group plans to set up its long-haul operation in Barcelona from June 2017 using two A330 aircraft.
“Barcelona has become a significant airport hub and we believe that there is a demand for these flights from El Prat. It is also Vueling’s base and we will be able to hub passengers from Vueling’s extensive European network onto these long-haul flights”, the group said in a statement.
Destinations being considered include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Havana, and Tokyo.
The move comes after a group of low-cost airlines, lead by Norwegian Air Shuttle, have shaken up the trans-Atlantic aviation market by offering low-cost long-haul services between Europe and the United States.
Options for the new operation include setting up a new airline or considering the use of existing resources from IAG’s airlines.
“No final decision has yet been made. This new operation will add another dimension to IAG and complement the other airlines in the Group.”, IAG’s spokesperson told the Aviation Tribune.
As well as British Airways and Vueling, IAG also owns Spain-based Iberia and Ireland-based Aer Lingus.