It’s been over a year since the U.S. airline startup Breeze Airways took to the skies for the first time on May 27, 2021. Billing itself as a ‘seriously nice’ airline, Breeze Airways crisscrosses the U.S. skies offering point-to-point services between underserved routes at affordable fares. Although having started flight operations with a handful of destinations, Breeze is moving full steam ahead to unlock the potential of what it has been promising to its customers, with major expanded services on the way. Let’s go over the details of Breeze Airways’ expansion plans for 2022.
Doubling the route network
At the start of 2022, Breeze Airways disclosed its significant growth and expansion plans to fly over 70 cities with 70 aircraft in the fleet in the next three years. By that time, the new entrant was offering air services to 16 airports and touting a humble fleet of 14 aircraft, comprising ten 108-seat Embraer 190s, three 118-seat Embraer 195s, and one 126-seat A220-300.
In line with the massive growth strategy, Breeze Airways announced a list of new flights targeting underserved U.S. markets in March 2022. The Salt Lake City-based carrier laid out plans to double its network to operate a total of 77 routes to 28 cities in 18 states for the northern summer season. For the summer of 2022, Breeze planned to add 35 routes to 10 new cities, including transcontinental flights like Savannah, Georgia, to Los Angeles and Providence, Rhode Island, to Los Angeles, etc.
In April, the Utah-headquartered airline announced to provide expanded service from its Bradley International Airport hub and add eight new nonstop destinations from Westchester County Airport to the west coast. In the second week of June, Breeze Airways stepped up its game by adding Syracuse to its route map. With an inaugural flight from Syracuse to Las Vegas on June 10, the airline added four new weekly nonstop flights from Syracuse to Las Vegas and Charleston, South Carolina. The presence of Breeze Airways at Syracuse Regional Airport allowed the facility to provide nonstop flights to Las Vegas, which was its number one unserved leisure destination at that point.
Breeze Airways hit the headlines among mainstream media and the U.S. aviation community for the first two-quarters of 2022with its slew of announcements to flag off new flights to neglected cities, in keeping with its business model. The carrier seemed to be on a roll. Still, things took a turn when personnel shortages and delays in aircraft deliveries threw the carrier’s plans into disarray, forcing Breeze to make last-minute tweaks at the end of June and delay the startup of new routes.
In the early week of August, the new U.S. carrier stated to set up a new base at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green International Airport (PVD) at the start of 2023 and expedite operations over five years. PVD marks the fifth base for Breeze Airways in the U.S. and is scheduled to offer around 20 weekly departures to Breeze customers by 2023 end and 44 weekly departures by 2027.
Breeze Airways launched its operations from Rhode Island in July 2021 and currently serves five destinations with 17 weekly departures from Providence airport. Once T.F. Green Airport becomes a base of operations for Breeze Airways, it will expand the airline’s PVD network to at least 20 routes over the next five years and encapsulate its ‘Seriously Nice’ approach to air travel. The American airline will station up to eight aircraft at PVD, with the move anticipated to create around 250 new aviation jobs for pilots, cabin crews, support staff, etc., and support tourism efforts by bringing in new tourists and visitors to the great state.
Starting next year, Breeze Airways will launch new nonstop routes from PVD to Los Angeles, California, and Savannah, Georgia, aligning with its business model of serving non-competitive airport pairs. The carrier also aims to commence seasonal flights from one of its fastest-growing cities, i.e., Rhode Island, to Columbus. Despite several headwinds facing the aviation industry, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and burgeoning fuel costs in the last few years, Breeze Airways has seen a robust domestic leisure travel demand. It is in a continuous move to touch new heights and make a strong presence in the U.S. market with no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.
A brief history of Breeze Airways
Just as the Breeze of the wind awakens the soul and ignites flying passion, Breeze Airways stepped into the field of the aviation sector to serve an adrenaline shot for smaller, secondary airports and allow passengers to fly conveniently with point-to-point services in underserved markets. Founded on July 31, 2018, the carrier commenced its operations with its first revenue-generating flight from Charleston to Tampa on May 27, 2021. Headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, Breeze markets itself as ‘the World’s Nicest Airline’ and ‘the newer, nicer way to fly. In a short span of time, the carrier has managed to make a unique position in the largest aviation market with its unique airport choices, which bypass larger airline hubs for more travel convenience brought by shorter TSA lines, cheaper parking, and less traffic.
Is Breeze owned by JetBlue?
Breeze Airways was founded by David Neeleman, the Brazilian-American entrepreneur who also founded four other commercial airlines, including Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue Airways, and Azul Brazilian Airlines. JetBlue Airways is a significant U.S. low-cost carrier that operates over 1000 flights on a daily basis. It is the parent company of JetBlue Technology Ventures and JetBlue Travel Products. Queens-headquartered JetBlue Airways do not own Breeze. David Neeleman was the CEO of JetBlue until 2007, but now he chairs his own airline Breeze Airways.
Is Breeze a budget airline?
Breeze Airways is a budget airline that has its ethos of making flights affordable and promises precedent low fares on nonstop flights catering to underserved cities which tend not to be directly connected by other airlines. Breeze is a low-cost airline at heart and enables passengers to fly for less money and less stress. Unlike traditional low-cost carriers, it promises a better and genuinely nice flying experience and offers three fare classes: Nice, Nicer, and the Nicest. Nice is a base fare class that comes up with several perks such as no change or cancellation fee, reusable credit, personal item, and 2% BreezePoints earned.
Breeze has wrapped out several upsell opportunities into ‘Nicer’ fare class to attract passengers who wish to board the plane conveniently with one checked bag and one carry-on and have extra legroom seats. Besides, Nicer class passengers will get a water bottle and Kind Bar onboard and earn 4% BreezePoints.
The Nicest fare class is Breeze’s first-class option that comes up with 6% BreezePoints, first-class seats, two checked bags and one carry-on, and non-alcoholic drink +snacks. None of the fare class incurs change or cancelation fees, meaning passengers can freely rebook or cancel their flight up to 15 minutes prior to their scheduled departure.
Destinations are served by Breeze Airways.
As mentioned above, Breeze Airways focuses on travel between good-sized unserved markets-many of which don’t have nonstop airline service. At present, Breeze Airways operates domestic routes within the United States, serving 28 destinations, including Huntsville, Fayetteville, San Bernardino, San Francisco, Hartford, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Savannah, Louisville, New Orleans, Las Vegas, White Plans, Akron, Columbus, Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Tulsa, Providence, Pittsburgh, etc. Breeze Airways has strategically positioned itself to serve routes with no direct nonstop competition like PVD-LAX, PVD-SAV, etc.
What types of planes does Breeze fly?
Breeze touts a humble fleet of 21 Airbus and Embraer Company aircraft. As of July 2022, it operates 7 Airbus A220-300, 10 Embraer 190s, and 10 Embraer 195s. The 108-seater Embraer 190s are former jets of Air Canada, whereas the Embraer 195s belonged previously to Azul and Air Europa Express. Breeze has a whopping 80 Airbus A220 jets on order with the European manufacturer with an option for 40 more.
The first A220 joined the Breeze fleet in December 2021, with one narrowbody jet scheduled to be delivered monthly for six years. Breeze Airways aims to induct 13 planes by the end of 2022, opening up all kinds of new route potential.
A220s form a significant portion of Breeze’s strategy to offer direct flight to/from smaller coaster towns and explore international routes. The impressive range of the A220 allows the narrowbody jet to serve long routes beyond the economic scope of Embraers and garner a variable cost advantage for the airline.
Breeze Airways will use A220s more intensively than the Embraer jets to serve a geographically widespread network and save almost a quarter of the fuel on each flight. Breeze Airways A220’s initial version features 126 seats, including 36 Nicest, 10 Nicer, and 80 Nice seats. The later versions have a total of 137 seats, including 12 Nicest, 45 Nicer, and 80 Nice seats.