70 Aircraft And 70 Cities: The Next 3 Years For Breeze Airways

Breeze Airways has disclosed its plan for 70+ aircraft in the next three years, while its network will comprise 70 or more cities by 2024. It’ll have more A220s than E190/E195s, with its Airbus jets to be used every day of the week – unlike its Embraers.

Breeze Airways innaugual
Breeze expects at least 70 aircraft in the next three years. Photo: Tampa International Airport.

Breeze plans 70+ cities by 2024

It has been less than eight months since Breeze’s first revenue-generating flight from Charleston to Tampa took off on May 27th, 2021. Since then, it has bedded in its initial expansive network, made changes and cuts where needed, launched its next round of new routes, and received its first A220-300.

More details have now emerged of the new entrant’s plans for the next few years. According to Breeze’s profile on AirlinePilotCentral, where it seeks new pilots, it plans to fly “to over 70 cities by 2024.” As you’d expect, this is part of “significant growth and expansion” planned over the next few years.

The use of cities rather than airports is interesting. In January 2022, Breeze serves 16 airports, rising to 18 next month with the addition of Islip (ISP) and West Palm Beach (PBI). According to OAG, its route network will grow to 42, with an average of three flights a week and an average distance of 634 miles (1,020km).

Breeze's route network in February 2022
In February 2022, Breeze’s most-served routes are Hartford (BDL) to Charleston (CHS) and CHS to Providence (PVD). Image: GCMap.

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A 70+ fleet in the next three years

Breeze currently has 14 aircraft, comprising 10 108-seat Embraer 190s, three 118-seat Embraer 195s, and one 126-seat A220-300. Some 12 aircraft are active, according to ch-aviation.com. In the next three years, the A220 will become the dominant type, as follows:

  • A220: about 40 aircraft over the next three years
  • E190/E195: 30 over the next three years (likely to be more)

Its Embraers were an opportunistic purchase, just like Allegiant’s MAX order. Breeze’s first A220, meanwhile, was delivered in December 2021, with one delivery planned every month for the next 80 months. It expects to have six A220-300s before they begin operating in Q2.

Breeze Airways Embraer Jet Plane
Breeze will probably use its Embraers until its brand-new A220s are depreciated enough. Photo: Breeze Airways.

How might flying change for the A220?

As I showed last year, the vast majority of Breeze’s flights are on four days a week. There’s little flying on Saturdays and no scheduled flying on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as confirmed in the carrier’s submission on AirlinePilotCentral: “All E190/195 flying consists of day trips (no overnights) and it does not operate on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.” However, Tuesdays and Wednesdays might see charter flying, which is “very robust.”

Things will be very different for its A220s: “[Our] A220s will operate seven days a week.” As they’ll be new and more expensive, they’ll likely be used significantly more intensively than the Embraers, reducing the higher fixed cost of ownership per seat-mile. We don’t yet know exactly how many more block hours per day they’ll operate.

1st Breeze A220 - MSN55128 - Exiting Paint
The lower variable costs of the A220 will help with higher productivity. They’ll also enable longer routes that wouldn’t be profitable by its Embraers. Photo: Airbus.

A220 pilots won’t return to base each night

Unlike Embraer pilots, Breeze says its A220 pilots will be away for two, three, or four days at a time, suggesting a geographically widespread network. The carrier has repeatedly said the type will be deployed on longer routes beyond the economic scope of Embraers, possibly an average of three to four hours flying time. At some point, they’ll be used internationally.

Longer routes mean the variable cost advantage of the Airbus jets will be crucial. Domestically, perhaps we’ll see the likes of Louisville to San Diego, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle, Huntsville-Los Angeles, or Columbus to San Diego and Portland. All are good-sized unserved markets even before demand rises from non-stop service and lower fares.

What do you make of Breeze’s ambition? Let us know in the comments.