US Startup Breeze Airways Delays Launch To 2021

Filed Under: Other Airlines

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.

Bottom line

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?

Comments
  1. “In other words, it sounds like their plan is to take a similar approach to route planning as Allegiant, except to be less sucky.” Comments like that are they reason I read your blog. The snark is fantastic. Can’t wait for Breeze to launch!

  2. Not sure about launching with tired E-195s. Is that the first impression you want for new airline. Looks like they have 20 more Seats than B6s E-190s. So they will be tired and tight.

  3. Those Azul 195s have been seeking homes for a while. They have a unique engine config because of the special rating for Santos Dumont operations, which makes them an oddball for any operator who takes them other than as a group.

  4. The livery sort of reminds me of V Bird, a Dutch airline which went belly-up back in 2005 (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_Bird).

  5. Neeleman drops some network hints in a long interview on Cranky Flier (Florida to Latam, underutilized coastal airports). I’m rooting for them to make Carlsbad, CA work, as that seems like a prime example. Also wishing for some secondary Canada transborder routes (for example, Halifax has no US flights beyond the Northeast except UA to ORD in the summer and a few Florida leisure routes in the winter).

  6. I don’t see how they can serve between unpopular destinations while having standard first class or even flat bed seats…

  7. @Lucky any thoughts on some example routes? Midsize city to Tourist Destinations (MCO,LAS)?, Cross country midsize city pairs w/ the A220 (midwest to PDX or SAN)? Any codeshare or complement network with JetBlue or other airlines?

  8. I don’t see how they will be able to get non ULCC revenue on 3rd rate routes. The reason Allegiant makes these routes work is because they put 180 seats on the A320. However, maybe Breeze won’t need the premium on the A220 in coach, but I can’t imagine first class working well for them.

  9. @Kyle

    Took the words right out of my mouth. ‘Big blue flying deodorant can’ is what I thought soon as I saw that livery. Terrible, in a bland sort of way.

    @Sean M

    Thank you for resisting the urge to speak in tongues – I mean acronyms – today.

  10. Starting with used E195 means lower initial costs which is a smart move.
    Eventually low cost carrier doesn’t need brand new fancy planes.

  11. @polarbear

    You do know there are routes already currently served by other airlines, less than 3800 miles mind you, with lie flat seats, right? Think JFK-LAX, for example.

    However, I’m not sure if first class will work for Breeze or not. I mean, it might, depending on the cities they’re tapping in to.

    Final note, the livery looks great! Too much white paint showing on most of the current US carriers planes anyway!

  12. I think some lessons can be taken from 1) early Jet Blue using a barbell strategy with LGB/JFK and running a lot of redeyes to both increase utilization and not have to park planes overnight at JFK, and 2) 90s Southwest triggering their national expansion by taking over excess gate capacity at Midway (mostly dormant pre rebuild), BWI (US), and Nashville (AA).

    I expect that Breeze will compete with Southwest on a limited number of point to point business routes Monday through Friday in some kind of mesh network, then point a bunch of those planes south at 10pm Friday and serve leisure/ethnic markets most of the weekend including a lot of Friday and Saturday night southbound red-eyes. Get the planes back in place by 6-8pm Sunday and start to serve the weekly warriors again.

  13. I love the livery! Lie flats on A220 – why not! Delta flies them SLC-JFK and it sure would be nice to lay down and relax on a red-eye worthy long haul. I am on A220 DFW-LGA as I type this.

    Premium cabin is a must. Revenue premium is only part of the story. It is also a brand and loyalty builder. JetBlue started as economy-only and look at Mint now!

    Look forward to BreEZe!

  14. Those complaining about the livery, check out South Korea’s t’way airlines and tell me what you think :))

  15. Scottsdale to Maui. Scottsdale to Cabo. Scottsdale to Puerto Pensaco. Scottsdale to Westchester. My votes.

  16. @Kyle: Breeze is also a detergent brand of the parent company of Degree (Unilever). I am not sure it is too happy to see both the name and the logo being used in this way.

    I think that livery is most suitable for a fourth-grader.

  17. @ VT-CIE: indeed, it is. Breeze is/was name of a female focused aromatic-driven soap brand owned by HUL (Unilever’s Indian subsidiary).

    As for the livery, I found it strictly ok—think the foundation is good but the finale not so much. Maybe some modification is in plans before launch 😉

  18. @RNS: I should know, as my Indianness can be explained by my username! The soap is properly called International Breeze, and it is very much on the market.

    Back to the topic. I don’t know when Breeze Airways will become International Breeze, given the current restrictions! 😉

  19. @Sean M Tell me more. Why do the airplanes have a separate engine config? The airport elevation seems not to be an issue.

  20. A major new US airline was supposed to launch this year …” Really? How about “A start-up US airline was supposed to launch this year …”

  21. @Jonathan

    That was back a few months!!!! I think what @Sean M means is those are the E195AR which have a higher thrust rating than the rest of E190/195 family. It is because SDU runway is short not because it is high.

    @VT-CIE
    Now to think of it, they really are ripping everything off Unilever. Coincidence aside, I think they want the concept as a check mark for ‘ez’.

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