What are the details?
David Neeleman has a bit of a rogue reputation in the airline industry. Rising to fame as one of the CEO’s of JetBlue and a founder of Brazil’s Azul, he not only has a great perspective on the airline industry but also knows where to step out of the crowd with ideas.
One such idea is his latest airline venture Breeze Aviation. This new airline is going against the typical airline model of hub airports, big aircraft and trans-national routes. What Mr. Neelemen is doing differently is a point to point airline with small aircraft, flying to regional airports that bigger airlines don’t support.
For example, a national carrier might fly from Los Angles (LAX) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW). This new airline might fly from Burbank (approx an hour or two due to LA traffic from LAX) to Austin. The two airports might have enough travelers to justify regular service between the two, but don’t really fit into the route network of the big carriers.
Breeze Aviation has chosen the Airbus A220-300 as its aircraft, however, had the situation been different for the Boeing 737 MAX, perhaps his order could have gone another way.
What does David Neeleman think of the Boeing 737 MAX?
Speaking to Runway Girl Network, Mr. Neeleman expressed his sorrow that the aircraft had to be grounded, but was optimistic of its return.
“It’s bad for aviation. I don’t care who you are, Airbus, Embraer, or whatever. It’s not good. I’m hoping it gets resolved quickly because it’s not a good situation and I hope they can figure it all out. And I’ll be on the first MAX flight. I’m not afraid to fly the MAX. It will be a very safe airplane.”
Many other airlines and aviation commentators have been cautious to say that the Boeing 737 MAX will be ‘safe‘ once it flies again, preferring to say that it will become the most ‘scrutinized’ aircraft in the world (thanks to multiple agencies looking over it with a fine-tooth comb).
Would David Neeleman actually order the aircraft?
The Boeing 737 MAX fits the MO for his airline ventures (domestic carriers operating to smaller airports). It would provide excellent economics compared to older aircraft like the A320 or 737-800, as well as smaller capacity planes like the A220 and Embraer E-Jet series. However, Breze will be using the E195 as an initial launch aircraft while it waits for the A220s.
Finishing his interview on the question of when Breeze Aviation will first take flight, he mentioned he doesn’t want to rush the certification process and that he hopes the FAA takes their time just like they are with the Boeing 737 MAX.
“People ask, ‘when is your first flight?’ And it’s like, I don’t want to get ahead of the FAA process,”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments!