David Neeleman’s Breeze Now Won’t Launch Until 2021

Airline startup Breeze Airways has quietly postponed its official launch from 2020 to 2021. Discovered in recent weeks, the subtle yet significant change was made on the US carrier’s website and confirmed by additional sources. This move likely reflects the continuing devastation this pandemic has had on the aviation industry around the world.

Breeze Aircraft
Breeze is planning to launch with the Embraer E195 jets and eventually take delivery of some Airbus A220-300s. Photo: Breeze AIrways

“Welcome to Breeze Airways, a new airline scheduled for take off in 2021! We are a group of aviation experts and fanatics, working day and night to build something brand new and really special for guests. Stay tuned, and until then, have a nice day!” -Breeze Airways website

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Breeze Airways postpones its launch

Utah-based Breeze Airways had initially intended to launch sometime in 2020. Dates had always remained rather vague for the startup, but we now have a little more certainty that its fleet of Embraers won’t be taking to the skies before 2021. After noticing the change on the airline’s website, the news was confirmed by The Points Guy after speaking with airline spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones.

While no reasons have been stated publicly, it is relatively apparent that the launch pushback is, at least in some way, connected to the coronavirus pandemic and its massive impact on the aviation industry. The news comes as several airlines in Latin America have filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the United States, and European legacy carriers have been negotiating government bailout terms. Closer to home, US carriers have been kept alive by the US government’s coronavirus stimulus and relief funding known as the CARES Act.

E195-E2 AZUL
As Azul receives its E2s, some of its existing older E195s will go to Breeze Airways. Photo: Embraer

What we know about Breeze Airways so far

According to its application for an Air Operator Certificate dated February 7th, 2020, eastern regions in the United States will be served first by the carrier. According to Forbes, Breeze planned to run its network of smaller regional aircraft to secondary markets such as Louisville, Kentucky, and Jacksonville, Florida. The operating model of the carrier looks to be point-to-point, rather than a hub-and-spoke model.

Breeze A220
A rendering of how the A220s could look for Breeze Airways. Photo: Breeze

As for aircraft, we are reasonably certain that the airline’s initial 28 aircraft will come from Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras in the form of several Embraer E195 jets. CH-Aviation notes that Azul has confirmed its sublease contract with Breeze Airways has not been terminated. However, deliveries of the aircraft would be delayed, sources report.

Breeze Airways will also acquire sixty new Airbus A220-300s. These deliveries are expected to begin in April 2021.

Founder of the airline, David Neeleman, has branded Breeze as the “World’s Nicest Airline.” Neeleman has been a driving force behind the establishment of several airlines, including Brazil’s Azul and the United States’ JetBlue.

Are you surprised by this move? Let us know in the comments.

Breeze Airways was not available for contact at the time of this article’s publication.