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David Neeleman’s New LCC Startup Finally Has a Name: Breeze Airways

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

Late last month we reported that Brazilian carrier Azul had signed an agreement with the Breeze Aviation Group to sublease up to 28 Embraer E195s, so that was the first clue that David Neeleman’s airline startup might be called Breeze.

Breeze Airways Embraer E195 - Image Credit: Breeze Airways/CNN

After years of speculation, airline entrepreneur David Neeleman’s startup, previously codenamed Moxy, will officially be named Breeze Airways. CNN reported on Friday that Breeze Airways, which has applied for an operating certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is Neeleman’s new airline.

Late last month, the Brazilian carrier Azul announced that they would be subleasing up to 28 Embraer E195s to the Breeze Aviation Group, which was launched by Azul’s founder and controlling shareholder, David Neeleman. The prolific airline entrepreneur also co-founded or founded Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue and Azul. In Azul's January 28, 2020 announcement, Breeze Aviation Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lukas Johnson said,

“The ability of the E195 to perform well with low-utilization and shorter-haul flying makes it a perfect complement to the Airbus A220-300, which will perform well in higher-utilization and longer-haul flights. We believe there is significant charter potential and peak season demand in the United States for an airplane of this seat count and cost structure. With no middle seats, the E195 has ranked high in guest comfort and satisfaction and we look forward to the introduction of the aircraft into our fleet.”

The sublease agreement will allow Breeze Airways to start sooner, as they won’t receive the first of 60 previously ordered Airbus A220-300s until 2021. In Friday’s announcement, CNN quoted Mr. Neeleman as saying,

“Breeze will fly non-stop service between places without meaningful or affordable service. We brought humanity back to the airline industry with JetBlue. Today, we’re excited to introduce plans for ‘the World’s Nicest Airline.’”

Mr. Neeleman has an uncanny and visionary knack of pinpointing openings in the crowded and largely ubiquitous airline industry. He certainly did that with the previous airlines he either co-founded or founded such as Morris Air (later merged with Southwest), WestJet, JetBlue and Azul, not to mention the re-imagining TAP Air Portugal.

With the business plan for Breeze Airways, operating a comfortable low-cost all-jet service between mid-sized US city pairs, we believe Mr. Neeleman may have discovered another sweet spot. Breeze Airways' business model seems to put the carrier in a unique position between a typical regional carrier, often operating on behalf of mainline carriers, and the low cost carriers operating out of both primary and secondary airports. The a-la-carte LCC model has been wildly successful with airlines such as Spirit and Allegiant, with the latter operating largely from secondary airports. Combining all the best qualities of the proven LCC models into the "World’s Nicest Airline" sounds like a noble endeavor.

Editor's Note: Having met Mr. Neeleman at JFK in 2000 during a JetBlue flight attendant graduation ceremony, we have no doubt he will once again change the industry. Back then, he spoke of "bringing humanity" back to the airline business which he certainly has accomplished. Next, we look forward to flying the world's nicest airline and wish Mr. Neeleman and his entire Salt Lake City-based team great success as they launch Breeze Airways.

Source(s): CNN, Azul

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