David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways, has unveiled Breeze Airways, a new airline which will hit U.S. skies as early as this year. How will Breeze Airways distinguish itself from others?
Breeze Airways will operate two aircraft types, an Embraer E195 and Airbus A220. The Embraer E195 are on lease from Azul, a Brazilian carrier that Neeleman also founded. In 2021, Breeze will take delivery of its first A220 jet. The E195 will seat 118 to 122 while the A220 will seat 118 to 145. Breeze will offer two cabins of service and has obtained 30 E195s and has 60 A220s on order.
Point-To-Point Service From Secondary Airports
Don’t expect to see Breeze Airways at any major U.S. airport, at least early on. Instead, Breeze Airways will offer nonstop service between cities that currently lack it. By utilizing smaller airports like Mesa (AZA) instead of Phoenix, Burbank (BUR) instead of Los Angeles, and Providence (PVD) instead of Boston, Breeze will keep costs down and open up new nonstop flights between cities that are currently “underserved”.
Some routes will be daily, but Breeze envisions serving many cities between 2-4 days per week. The hope is that this will allow for more effective aircraft utilization. While my initial impression was that this limits Breeze to leisure travelers, that is not necessarily so. Budget carriers in Europe like EasyJet and Ryanair have proven quite adept at enticing business travelers on routes which do no operate daily. With lower costs from non-daily service and utilizing secondary airports, Breeze envisions it needs loads of only 50% to break even.
I take this last differentiator with a grain of salt. Neeleman promises streaming in-flight-entertainment and hints at complimentary wi-fi. No setback screens are planned.
That sounds like an IFE model American Airlines is increasingly embracing. Sure, it is better than Allegiant, Frontier, or Spirit, but it hardly sounds revolutionary.
Neelemans’ latest airline project had been code-named “Moxy”. Neeleman told The Points Guy that he did not brand his new airline as Moxy because Marriott used the name for a new chain of hotels. Ultimately, he said, “The name doesn’t make you, you make the name. We’ll make it something special.”
I’m looking forward to it.