IAG's budget long haul airline Level to increase fleet to five in 2018

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group speaks during the closing press briefing at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

LONDON (Reuters) - IAG ICAG.L will increase the fleet size of its new long haul low-cost airline Level to five in 2018, its chief executive said on Thursday at the launch of the new brand which will fly to the United States.

Barcelona-based Level will initially operate with two new Airbus AIR.PA A330 aircraft to serve the Americas.

“In 2018, Level will increase its fleet to five aircraft and we are considering other European bases for the operation,” IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said in a statement, adding sales had been well ahead of expectations.

Walsh had said last month said that Level would add two or three planes next year.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Victoria Bryan