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Breeze has a new, more economical Airbus A220 configuration coming soon

August 21 2022
5 min read
Breeze Airways plane
Breeze has a new, more economical Airbus A220 configuration coming soon
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When Breeze Airways first took the skies in May 2021, it launched with a fleet of secondhand Embraer regional jets.

This helped the new startup carrier, founded by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, minimize capital costs at the outset.

However, the long-term fleet strategy for the new startup carrier has always been to go all-in on the modern and fuel-efficient Airbus A220.

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This fan-favorite airplane has received rave reviews from flyers, and Breeze is poised to eventually become one of the largest U.S.-based A220 operators with a total of 80 of these jets on order.

Last year, the carrier took the wraps off its first A220, which began flying in May. The jet, an A220-300 registered N203BZ, is outfitted with a whopping 36 first-class recliners.

Dubbed the "Premium" seats, these first-class recliners are impressive. With spacious leg rests, generous recline and oversized tray tables, this is a very competitive first-class product.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

While the first batch of A220s feature 36 first-class recliners, we now have a sense of what to expect with Breeze's next A220s.

The airline recently published a new seat map to its fleet webpage, which shows a 137-seat layout for the A220. This jet features just 12 first-class recliners, but many more extra-legroom seats.

(Seat map courtesy of Breeze)

You'll find a full breakdown of the two configurations in the chart below.

Seat typePremium-focused A220Leisure-focused A220
"Premium" first class3612
Extra legroom1045
Economy8080
Total seats126137

Interestingly, Breeze is only changing the number of "Premium" and extra-legroom seats across its two initial A220 configurations. Airline officials seemingly believe that there's a cap on the number of standard economy seats the carrier should offer on its initial A220 routes.

Aside from the difference in the number of seats, the actual "hard product" itself will be identical across the initial A220 fleet. The first-class seat is 20.5 inches wide and sports 39 inches of pitch.

Meanwhile, the extra-legroom and standard economy seats are 18 inches wide; the former features 33 inches of pitch and the latter features 30 inches of pitch.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

For now, the airline will offer just these two A220 configurations.

While the premium-heavy configuration might've been a headscratcher for some aviation analysts, Neeleman explained during the A220 launch event that this configuration could be "dynamically change[d]" during routine overnight maintenance.

At this time, the airline doesn't appear to be deploying this "dynamic" change of layout. Instead, the carrier will just offer these two different A220 configurations from the factory.

The first seven A220s that Breeze receives will feature the 36 first-class seat layout; the number eight and onward will be in the 12-seat configuration, spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones told TPG.

Map of Breeze A220 routes operated by the 137-seat variant during April 2023. (Courtesy of Cirium)

In fact, Breeze is already scheduling each configuration on different routes. Taking a look at the schedule for April 2023, Breeze's 137-seat A220 is scheduled on routes that average just 964 miles long. Some are even shorter, including the 371-mile hop from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to Charleston International Airport (CHS).

Meanwhile, the more premium 126-seat variant is poised to fly many of the airline's longer routes, with an average stage length of 1,325 miles, Cirium schedules show. This includes routes between Westchester County Airport (HPN) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and between Richmond International Airport (RIC) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

By deploying each configuration on a mix of routes, Breeze will get a sense of premium demand in different markets, according to a carrier spokesperson.

"Once we have done that, we'll determine the sweet spot number [of premium seats] and/or any dynamic configurations," Edmondson-Jones said.

Map of Breeze A220 routes operated by the 126-seat variant during April 2023. (Courtesy of Cirium)

Looking ahead, it's possible that Breeze will eventually install a different product on its future A220s. After all, Neeleman has toyed with the idea of putting lie-flat, business-class pods on the A220.

“We can put lie-flat seats on this airplane,” he said at a media event in October. The aircraft could fit “about 21 lie-flats in the front.”

Adding lie-flat pods to the fleet is something that Neeleman has already publicly discussed on multiple occasions, should the move make sense down the road.

Featured photo by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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