A major new US airline was supposed to launch this year, though it now looks like it’s going to be delayed by at least a year. That shouldn’t come as any surprise, given everything going on right now.
Here’s everything we know about Breeze Airways so far…
“Moxy” was announced in 2018
David Neeleman is the founder of several airlines, including JetBlue. He hasn’t worked at JetBlue since 2008, and in 2018 he announced that he planned to launch a new airline in the US.
In July 2018 his new airline placed an order for 60 Airbus A220-300s, with deliveries expected to start in 2021.
While Moxy was used as the working name when the airline was first announced, we knew all along that they wouldn’t necessarily operate under that name.
Breeze Airways was announced in early 2020
In February 2020 it was revealed that Neeleman’s new airline would be known as Breeze Airways. At that point the branding for the airline was also revealed, and I have to say that I’m quite a fan of the livery.
Earlier this year Breeze Airways started the process of applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate with the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Breeze Airways will now launch in 2021
Breeze Airways was supposed to commence operations in 2020, though it has now been confirmed that this will be delayed until 2021. No further details have been provided about when in 2021 the airline will launch, and what the reasoning is for the delay.
It seems obvious that the airline would be delayed due to the current pandemic. Frankly if things continue as they have, it would seem logical for the launch to be pushed back even further than that. Unfortunately don’t expect to see Breeze Airways planes in the sky anytime soon.
Breeze Airways will operate Embraer 195s, Airbus A220s
The long term plan is for Breeze Airways to fly Airbus A220s, which are due to be delivered as of April 2021 (though it very well could be that delivery of those planes is delayed as well).
When Breeze Airways had plans to launch in 2020, the intent was to lease up to 30 Embraer 195s from Azul, which is another one of Neeleman’s airlines, and which would have allowed the airline to launch before taking delivery of A220s.
This would have been mutually beneficial, as Azul was looking to get rid of those planes anyway, in favor of new Embraer 195-E2 jets.
At this point it’s not known if Breeze Airways will still get Embraer 195s from Azul, or if that plan is off the table as the airline delays launch of operations. Presumably the plan was for Breeze Airways to eventually exclusively fly A220s.
What is Breeze Airways’ business model?
In many ways the US aviation market was already crowded before coronavirus, so what will make Breeze Airways different?
On the most basic level, Breeze Airways plans to operate point-to-point flights between markets that they consider to be underserved. This would include mid-size city pairs with no current nonstop flights, and it would also include flying into & out of secondary airports in regions. As Neeleman describes it:
“Breeze will fly nonstop service between places currently without meaningful or affordable service.”
In other words, it sounds like their plan is to take a similar approach to route planning as Allegiant, except to be less sucky.
Neeleman also says that Breeze Airways will be “the world’s nicest airline.” That’s a big statement to make, so we’ll see how that goes.
As far as the passenger experience goes, Breeze Airways plans to be a low cost carrier with a twist:
- The airline won’t have seatback entertainment, but will have streaming entertainment and wifi (they’ve said that wifi may be free, but we’ll see)
- Breeze Airways will have first class, and the type of seats may vary based on route; the airline may offer standard first class seats on some routes, and flat bed seats on other routes
- Technology will be a big focus, and Neeleman has even describes the business as “a technology company that happens to fly planes”
Regarding that last point, so many airlines talk about the importance of technology, and how they’ll use that to differentiate themselves, etc. I’m always highly skeptical of the claim, because the reality is that very few airlines truly differentiate themselves on that front.
We’ll see if Breeze Airways is any different.
Neeleman has done a fantastic job with the airlines he has founded, so as consumers we should be excited about Breeze Airways. If nothing else, he’s great at building companies with a great culture, that people enjoy working for. As a customer that’s a big plus.
Unfortunately the current pandemic is likely to delay the launch of Breeze Airways significantly — the airline was supposed to launch in 2020, but that is now being pushed back to 2021. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to see that plan slip even further.
What do you make of Breeze Airways?