Some initially saw it as a quasi-regional carrier, but now Breeze Airways is after international flights – including transatlantic routes.
It is the newest U.S. airline, and it is trying to succeed by looking for gaps in the market – like everyone else. However, Breeze is doing it by making hubs out of airports that aren’t hubs for anyone else. And according to its CEO, David Neeleman, the plan is working.
The airline is now seeking FAA approval, to start flights to international destinations. These will very likely include Canada, but Breeze also wants to make transatlantic flights with its Airbus A220-300 fleet.
One destination that Breeze could start its transatlantic flights with, is Ireland. The range of Breeze’s Airbus A220-300 fleet will come into play here. Breeze has previously asked Airbus to add an auxiliary fuel tank to the aircraft, precisely for such use.
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Transatlantic flights involve more considerations, but the really interesting question is where in the United States Breeze will start these trips from. Will the airline continue looking for underserved direct links, when it comes to these flights?
Breeze is the fifth airline startup that David Neeleman has been directly involved in. And other than Morris Air, which was later bought by Southwest, all others are still alive and well. They are: WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul in Brazil.
One interesting aspect of Breeze’s operating model is that it doesn’t need to scale up, in terms of aircraft size. Since it competes with airlines whose passengers would need to do two legs instead of one, Breeze doesn’t need to price its flights very aggressively.
Neeleman explains that this factor sets his airline apart from U.S.-based ultra-low-cost carriers, who need to fill up ever-larger aircraft on each flight while competing with others. But translating this into transatlantic routes could be a bigger challenge for Breeze. Especially if the airline seeks to do it without its competition copying the idea immediately.