IAG’s Level Europe ceases operations – files for insolvency

Despite the wealth of its parent company IAG, Europe’s third-largest airline by pax and owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling Group, Level Europe has filed for insolvency citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason it has been forced to stop trading.

The move does not affect Level, another subsidiary of the IAG, which focuses on long-haul routes. Level Europe operated six short-haul jets, began operations in 2018 and now joins a growing list of carriers who have been unable to successfully negotiate the turbulence created by the pandemic, including Virgin Australia, Latin America’s Latam Airlines and Avianca, and the U.K.’s Flybe.

IAG confirmed back in April that it had €10 billion (US$10.12 billion) of liquidity, but chief executive Willie Walsh has said it is burning through cash as the crisis continues and has warned that British Airways is “fighting for survival”. Unlike other European airlines such as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, IAG does not have access to a government bailout, though it has accessed government-backed loans and furloughed many of its staff.

Currently British Airways is looking to axe up to 12,000 jobs as its survival becomes increasingly threatened. According to Level Europe, an administrator to oversee the insolvency will be appointed once proceedings have been filed.   

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