Startup airline Breeze Airways is reportedly boosting its order for the Airbus A220 by an additional 20 aircraft. Industry insiders say that the airline has ordered 20 more A220-300s, taking its overall commitment to 80 of the type. If the deal comes off, the airline will become the world’s second-largest operator of the A220.
Could Breeze become the second-largest A220 operator?
David Neeleman’s newest airline, Breeze Airways, has reportedly bolstered its commitment for the Airbus A220 with an order for more aircraft. Reporting in Reuters suggests that the airline has added a new order for 20 additional A220-300s, taking its commitment to 80 of the type.
Although not confirmed by Breeze or Airbus yet, if the deal does come off it would make Breeze the second-largest customer for the A220 jet. It would be behind only Delta Air Lines, with a current order of 95 of the type, and would overtake fellow Neeleman-founded airline JetBlue with its order for 70.
According to Airbus’ latest figures, 20 A220-300 were ordered for an ‘undisclosed buyer’ during the month of March. The order was placed on March 25th, but no announcement has been made to date. If the deal is confirmed to be for Breeze, it would signal a further $1.8 billion of investment at list prices.
The point-to-point opportunity
Once referred to by the moniker of Moxy, Breeze Airways has been laying plans for its launch since June 2018. It’s the fifth airline startup from Neeleman’s portfolio, following in the footsteps of Morris Air, JetBlue, WestJet and Azul.
The purpose of this airline is to fill the gaps currently perceived to be left in the US domestic marketplace. Breeze plans to begin service on point-to-point, underserved routes where it will face little or no competition.
Speaking at the World Aviation Festival last week, Neeleman indicated that 80% of the routes planned by Breeze will have no nonstop competition. He believes he has found a niche for the airline in avoiding the hub routing that is so common, and offering passengers a chance to fly direct in a fraction of the time.
Although the routes have not been officially revealed yet, Simple Flying analysis identified some interesting possibilities. Charleston, Panama City and the Florida beaches are likely to figure heavily in the launch plan, as well as locations including New Orleans, Hartford and Columbus. But, we’ll have to wait a bit for the exact route map of this exciting startup.
When will Breeze takeoff?
All the pieces are falling into place for a forthcoming launch of Breeze. The carrier received its Federal approval in March, and tentative approval for a 22-airplane strong fleet by the DOT in February.
While the A220s are expected to begin arriving in the coming weeks, the airline has already started building its fleet capacity. 15 E190s are expected to be leased from Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), and the first arrived with the airline around six weeks ago.
As well as the E190s, Breeze will kick off with the larger E195 also. 30 are due to arrive at the airline, subleased from Azul. To date, just two have arrived.
Nevertheless, everything is proceeding according to plan for Neeleman’s new startup. We could well see tickets on sale by the end of the month.