Breeze Airways Considers A220 Flights To Europe

Breeze Airways Considers A220 Flights To Europe

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Could Breeze Airways become the first airline to operate the Airbus A220 on transatlantic flights? It seems like it’s at least being considered.

Breeze Airways seeks proposals from European airports

Breeze is the US airline startup that is founded by David Neeleman, the same guy behind JetBlue. The airline launched operations in late May 2021, initially exclusively operating domestic flights.

While Breeze is launching operations with used Embraer E190/195 aircraft, the airline also has 60 Airbus A220-300s on order, which will eventually be the primary aircraft used by the airline. Breeze is taking a very specific approach to picking routes — the airline is operating routes that are underserved, with a vast majority of them not currently having nonstop service.

Breeze is taking a similar approach to airlines like Allegiant, rather than trying to compete directly with the “major” carriers.

Along those lines, Breeze has put out a “request for proposals” (RFP) from airports, in partnership with Route Exchange. Perhaps what’s most interesting is that Breeze is “looking to tap into underserved markets across the Americas, the Caribbean, and Western Europe.” Yep, that’s right, Breeze is considering flying to Europe.

As this is described:

Breeze Airways is looking to tap into underserved markets across the Americas, the Caribbean, and Western Europe. With firm deliveries of 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft over the next five years, the RFP will support the carrier in identifying new airports to build its network.

Airports have the opportunity to fill out a pre-qualifying questionnaire, intended to express interest in Breeze flying to the airport. Not only is this intended to confirm that an A220 could actually be operated to the airport, but airports are also invited to share routes that they feel are underserved.

Think of this process as speed dating for airlines and airports. While Breeze no doubt has route planners that are crunching numbers here, I imagine an element of this is also airports potentially expressing willingness to provide subsidies and incentives for Breeze to start service.

Where in Europe could Breeze Airways fly?

I think it’s important to emphasize that Breeze Airways launching flights to Europe is far from a sure bet. At this point the airline is simply seeking proposals, which makes perfect sense, as the airline should at least investigate all options within the A220’s range.

The A220 has a range of 3,400 nautical miles, meaning it can easily operate some of the shorter transatlantic city pairs. For example, below is a map showing the range of the A220 out of Boston (with the light blue area showing what’s within 3,400 nautical miles).

Potential range for the Airbus A220-300 from Boston

It’s important to emphasize that the above shows the full range, and doesn’t factor in fuel reserves, headwinds, etc., so realistically the plane wouldn’t be able to fly quite as far as you see above.

With that in mind, I have a few general thoughts:

  • If Breeze does fly to Europe, I’d expect this to only come after significant domestic expansion, so I don’t anticipate this happening in the next few years (since the airline will be taking delivery of an average of one A220 a month)
  • Breeze is all about operating in underserved markets, so don’t expect the airline to fly from New York to London or Boston to Paris; instead expect service from smaller markets in the US to bigger markets in Europe, bigger markets in the US to smaller markets in Europe, or smaller markets in the US to smaller markets in Europe (though finding sufficient demand may be a challenge in that last category)
  • I could maybe see Breeze giving transatlantic service a try with subsidies and incentives from airports on both ends, but personally I don’t see this being a focus for the airline
  • Transatlantic leisure travel is highly seasonal, and that’s something that transatlantic low cost carriers have previously struggled with; if Breeze does launch transatlantic flights, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it just be seasonal
  • While Breeze hasn’t ruled out the concept of offering flat beds at some point in the future, it’s expected that Breeze’s A220s will have more typical domestic first class seats, which would be equivalent to premium economy on a transatlantic flight
Breeze Airways’ A220 first class (“Nicest”) seats

No low cost carrier has ever been successful operating narrow body aircraft on transatlantic flights, so many would assume that Breeze won’t be any different. Then again, the airline has an attractive cost structure, which is one major advantage.

Bottom line

Breeze Airways is seeking service proposals from airports in the Americas, Caribbean, and Western Europe, for Airbus A220 flights over the next five years. The potential for A220 service to Europe is what I find most interesting. The A220 is an incredibly capable plane with fantastic economics and passenger comfort, and it can easily operate select transatlantic flights.

Only time will tell whether Breeze ever flies to Europe with A220s. Personally I’d be surprised if Breeze flies to Europe, but who knows — the industry evolves at a fast pace, and with enough subsidies from airports and the ability to do low frequency seasonal flights, maybe it’s not out of the question.

What do you think — will Breeze Airways eventually start flying to Europe?

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  1. Miguel Santos

    There is an underserved market to be explored out of the Azores, Portugal, regarding Terceira island, which is set in the central group of the Azores, composed of 5 islands, besides Terceira, there is Graciosa, S. Jorge, Pico and Faial. There is a large azorean immigrant community in the US and Canada. From Terceira there is a large community in the S. Francisco / Oakland area.
    Over the years, several important links have been...

    There is an underserved market to be explored out of the Azores, Portugal, regarding Terceira island, which is set in the central group of the Azores, composed of 5 islands, besides Terceira, there is Graciosa, S. Jorge, Pico and Faial. There is a large azorean immigrant community in the US and Canada. From Terceira there is a large community in the S. Francisco / Oakland area.
    Over the years, several important links have been dropped atTerceira island`s airport LPLA/TER which is one of the best facilities in the atlantic. It is used by the USAF as a transit point, has cib«vilian certification and is the approved diversion point for any kind of emergencies in the Santa Maria FIR.
    Presently, only Azores Airlines flies from Terceira to Boston and Toronto using A321Neo a/c but this capacity is not enough.
    We feel that Breeze could snatch a fair share of the market from the US east coast together with a convenient link to Oakland.

  2. Andy

    Perhaps Boston - Basle. Cambridge MA hosts Novartis' research HQ, Basle the corporate HQ. Also other Basle based pharmaceutical firms have large operations in the Boston area.

  3. Chris Childs

    CWL needs this type of service back.
    Since losing Zoom years ago.
    Contact Cardiff Wales Airport

  4. Stanley Morris

    Someday an airline will get the message that older folks like shorter routes and will fly from St. Johns, Newfoundland to the Azores, the shortest way from North America to Europe.

  5. Yes Please

    Norfolk PLEASE!!!!! Imagine flights from ORF to MAD, AMS or CDG?

  6. Chance

    The article says the range is 3,400 miles. Airbus specs say the A220-300 has range of 6,297 KM which is about 3,900 miles. That's probably with standard tanks. It's been reported that MX is lobbying Airbus for extra fuel tanks which would give even greater range.

  7. Grey

    I have a hard time imagining this working. The primary costs on these long flights is usually taxes and airport fees. When the mainline carriers often offer routes between big cities for 3-500 EUR return, it is extremely difficult to imagine how they could offer a product that is more enticing and still make a profit with around 120 pax. I mean, people are surely willing to pay a bit more for a nonstop, but...

    I have a hard time imagining this working. The primary costs on these long flights is usually taxes and airport fees. When the mainline carriers often offer routes between big cities for 3-500 EUR return, it is extremely difficult to imagine how they could offer a product that is more enticing and still make a profit with around 120 pax. I mean, people are surely willing to pay a bit more for a nonstop, but I am sceptical that it would be enough to make it worthwhile. Happy to be proven wrong though...

  8. Guillaume

    @The nice Paul, I'm not sure you've ever been to Norfolk, VA, but you should know that the ever-growing and evolving ORF is planning a sizeable expansion to include a new terminal to serve that market of nearly 2M people. As you know, Breeze has chosen ORF as one of its hubs, so perhaps they have more confidence in that market than you do. I'd bet on Neeleman's judgment any day, no offense. So, I...

    @The nice Paul, I'm not sure you've ever been to Norfolk, VA, but you should know that the ever-growing and evolving ORF is planning a sizeable expansion to include a new terminal to serve that market of nearly 2M people. As you know, Breeze has chosen ORF as one of its hubs, so perhaps they have more confidence in that market than you do. I'd bet on Neeleman's judgment any day, no offense. So, I wouldn't be surprised if this happened at ORF at some point, especially given the NATO presence and various international shipping conglomerate NA HQs located there...YMMV.

    1. The nice Paul

      You think they’ll fly between Norfolk VA and Norfolk England?!?!

  9. Aman

    Breeze has a disruptive cost structure and super efficient low capacity A220. If they can find niched city pairs within the operating range of the A220, I can see it working.
    Other LCCs tried to compete with legacy carriers on trunk routes or offered inconvenient transits which required them to undercut legacy carriers and sell tickets at unsustainable prices.
    Breeze should stay clear from this and remain true to their business model.

  10. KingBob

    This article is primarily about them flying to Europe but it also mentions them possibly flying to the Caribbean. There is a complete lack of flights to the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe and what AA charges is outrageous.

  11. BG

    Norfolk, VA to Norfolk, UK?

    Jokes aside, I’d be happy if ORF went to the islands, Mexico, or Canada.

    1. The nice Paul

      Norwich (Norfolk’s county town) has 3 flights a day from Amsterdam, but very few other international connections.

      Though I’m not sure a route from/to Norfolk VA would be where I’d invest my money. :)

  12. Tim Dunn

    The A220 is an incredible airplane but talk of Breeze flying TATL routes is typical Neeleman ADD.

  13. John Luffred

    LOL.
    SERIOUSLY.
    STICK TO DOMESTIC.
    THEY CANT GET THAT RIGHT!

  14. Rob

    BHX should be filling out the forms right now. That place might be UKs second city but being stuck between LON and MAN has really hindered its connectivity when only larger jets could be used in the past!

    1. The nice Paul

      It’s England’s 2nd city, not the UK’s.

    2. Rob

      Source please, by population it is UKs second city...?

    3. The nice Paul

      Population is not the measure (until the end of the imperial era, Glasgow was always referred to as “the second city of Empire”).

      In any case, population is tough to measure — is it the central core, the city, the metropolitan area, the TTW area…? Should Manchester include Salford? Should London include Croydon or Bromley?

      Reminds me of the old joke. People in a number of cities were asked which was England’s 2nd city:
      ...

      Population is not the measure (until the end of the imperial era, Glasgow was always referred to as “the second city of Empire”).

      In any case, population is tough to measure — is it the central core, the city, the metropolitan area, the TTW area…? Should Manchester include Salford? Should London include Croydon or Bromley?

      Reminds me of the old joke. People in a number of cities were asked which was England’s 2nd city:
      — the people of Manchester said Manchester;
      — the people of Birmingham said Birmingham;
      — the people of Liverpool said London.

  15. shoeguy

    This is hilarious. Perhaps they will merge with Avelo and fly Santa Rosa-Barcelona 7 times daily.

  16. KK13

    1. Nice to Miami
    2. Barcelona to Orlando
    3. Brussels to Charlotte
    4. Vienna to Tampa ….

  17. Stuart

    The airport in the U.S. that intrigues me the most as a potential for massive growth in the future is New Haven, CT. It is, in actuality, the largest metro area (when including Stamford and Bridgeport) in CT. and offers Tri-State travelers (many of which are wealthy train commuters to NYC) a viable option closer to home and with less traffic. A rebranding of the airport to be Tri-State International Airport and marketing to this...

    The airport in the U.S. that intrigues me the most as a potential for massive growth in the future is New Haven, CT. It is, in actuality, the largest metro area (when including Stamford and Bridgeport) in CT. and offers Tri-State travelers (many of which are wealthy train commuters to NYC) a viable option closer to home and with less traffic. A rebranding of the airport to be Tri-State International Airport and marketing to this area with people tired of going to Bradley, La Guardia, or JFK could, eventually in a few decades, result in the 4th largest airport in the region. For Breeze, it would be a natural to launch these flights to London Gatwick etc.

    1. Chance

      Avelo will lock up New Haven

  18. SubwayNut

    Service from my home airport of South Bend to somewhere in Ireland, giving the fighting Irish a direct link to their motherland.

  19. Milo

    Boston to Liverpool, sponsored by Fenway Sports Group. One plane with Red Sox livery, another with LFC livery.

  20. John T

    Boston to Manchester was my first thought.

    1. Apso Eyot

      Delta’s apparently gone from the route without any announcement, so now’s the chance for BOS-MAN!

    2. Apso Eyot

      They should add some flights to popular European destinations from Portland and other cities in Maine since it’s the closest part of the US to Europe (meaning more route flexibility) and not yet flown by any airlines. Better yet, operate a scissor hub there where people from across the US can connect onto their European flights.

  21. JB

    Maybe Manchester to Boston? Or flights from Glasgow and Birmingham, all of which have undeserved direct service from the U.S.

  22. Eskimo

    When will airlines learn that they make a lot more money flying 3x 2 hours flight than 1x 6 hour flight across the ocean.

  23. James S

    Providence to 3 cities in Portugal, you heard it here first

    1. Eskimo

      Providence to 3 cities in UK, you heard it here first.

  24. Harry K

    Hey Breeze. Manchester NH airport (MHT) is sitting there with plenty of capacity, just an hour from Boston, and with an auxiliary terminal with customs capability. (Was used by Air Canada for Toronto service.) Could make a great low-cost European gateway.

  25. derek

    A220 range is limited so I would only expect Boston, Hartford, and New York to UK, Norway, Benelux, and Northern France.

    I wonder if Stavanger may need service. MAN, BHX, LCY, BRU are possible. I doubt Stavanger Houston with a technical stop in Gander is in the cards.

  26. Bo

    Breeze first class on the A220 will be called "Nicest." Nice is the standard economy seat. Nicer is the extra leg room economy seat.

  27. Klaus

    Do they want to fly TO Europe or WITHIN Europe?

    1. Mark

      They wouldn't be allowed to fly within Europe as an American Airline

Featured Comments Load all 39 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

The nice Paul

Population is not the measure (until the end of the imperial era, Glasgow was always referred to as “the second city of Empire”). In any case, population is tough to measure — is it the central core, the city, the metropolitan area, the TTW area…? Should Manchester include Salford? Should London include Croydon or Bromley? Reminds me of the old joke. People in a number of cities were asked which was England’s 2nd city: — the people of Manchester said Manchester; — the people of Birmingham said Birmingham; — the people of Liverpool said London.

Milo

Boston to Liverpool, sponsored by Fenway Sports Group. One plane with Red Sox livery, another with LFC livery.

Harry K

Hey Breeze. Manchester NH airport (MHT) is sitting there with plenty of capacity, just an hour from Boston, and with an auxiliary terminal with customs capability. (Was used by Air Canada for Toronto service.) Could make a great low-cost European gateway.

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