Exciting: Breeze Airways Completes Its Inaugural Flight

Startup carrier Breeze Airways has officially completed its inaugural flight today. The David Neeleman-backed carrier flew from Tampa, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina, using an Embraer E195 with flight number MX1. Let’s find out more about this new carrier.

Breeze Airways Embraer E195
Breeze has kicked off operations with a fleet of leased Embraer E190s and E195s. Photo: Embraer

Big step

Breeze Airways has officially taken off! The long-awaited nonstop carrier has launched its first route earlier today. The flight itself was preceded by a celebration at Tampa, including a speech by CEO David Neeleman, many photos, and the cake cutting!

Breeze Airways innagural
It was all smiles before today’s inaugural flight to Charleston! Pictured here (L-R): Steve Heyes, CEO of Visit St.Pete/ClearwaterBreeze, Joe Lopano, CEO TPA, and Breeze Airways CEO David Neeleman. Photo: Tampa International Airport

The inaugural flight MX1 left Tampa Airport at 10:44 AM for the 1-hour and 25-minute flight up to Charleson Airport. On its taxi out, the plane received a customary water cannon salute, symbolizing the first service from the airport.

Breeze Airways innaugual
The aircraft flying this route is a leased and repainted Embraer E195, registration N190BZ. Photo: Tampa International Airport

Soon after, the Embraer was on its way out of Tampa and flying north towards South Carolina. Despite departing 14 minutes behind schedule, it arrived in Charleston six minutes early, landing at 11:52 AM local time, according to RadarBox.com.

However, the aircraft isn’t spending too much time on the ground, with the next flight to Hartford, Connecticut, scheduled for 15:18 later today. Both of these routes will be served with flights four times a week.

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You can find out how Breeze got its name, and why it changed from Moxy, in our exclusive coverage here.

Growing quickly

After months of planning and waiting, Breeze Airways has officially begun flights. The airline’s motto has been to offer nonstop connections between cities that have been “forgotten” by traditional carriers. This is combined with rock-bottom fares, giving travelers the ideal package.

Breeze has revealed 39 routes so far, of which only eight have other direct competition. This means the carrier will likely have little trouble finding passengers on its services, especially considering how travelers fly many of these routes. Charleston is a big hub for Breeze currently, with 11 routes planned from the city.

Breeze E190
Breeze has big plans for this summer, with 16 airports on its radar by the end of July. Photo: Breeze Airways

Unlike mainline full-service and budget carriers, Breeze is not targeting travel from major hub airports. Instead, the airline was to become a major tier two connector, undercutting the competition with nonstop routes.

This is an interesting strategy and one that hasn’t been tested on a large-scale, US-wide network before, with many expecting it to be a success.

Fleet

Breeze is operating flights using a fleet of Embraer E190s and 195s. Seven aircraft have been delivered currently – four E190s and three E195s – with more due in the future.

However, the mainstay of the fleet will be the Airbus A220, of which Breeze has ordered 60. Once deliveries commence later this year, expect to see new onboard products and longer routes from the new carrier.

What do you think about Breeze Airways’ strategy? Do you plan on flying with them? Let us know in the comments!

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