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Neeleman's new airline Breeze to first fly routes in eastern U.S.

Feb. 10, 2020
3 min read
Neeleman's new airline Breeze to first fly routes in eastern U.S.
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David Neeleman's latest airline venture Breeze Airways plans to begin service with routes in the eastern U.S., even with its headquarters in Salt Lake City.

The carrier will begin scheduled flights on routes between "points east of the Mississippi river and primarily north-south," Breeze told U.S. regulators in an application to the Department of Transportation dated Feb. 7 and released publicly Monday. Destinations will be "secondary leisure markets" that are affordable to budget travelers and have a high number of secondary homes.

“There’s just a lot of scraps that the big guys have left,” Neelman told TPG on Breeze's network plans Friday. “They’ve left a lot of city pairs, they’ve left a lot of other things untouched. I think we can fill that void nicely with the two aircraft types that we have coming.”

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Neeleman has a track record for establishing successful airlines. Breeze, which was initially code-named Moxy, is his fifth such venture with past names including JetBlue Airways and Brazil's Azul. While the date of the first flight depends on approval of Breeze's operating certificate, the airline plans to initially operate 28 Embraer E195s configured with 118 seats before adding new Airbus A220-300s in 2021.

Based on the details laid out in the federal filing, Breeze would be Neeleman's first carrier without a single focus city or airport at its start. Azul took advantage of the São Paulo region's then-little used Viracopos Campinas (VCP) airport to build a hub, and JetBlue tapped into the underserved domestic market from New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport in the early 2000s.

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The new carrier has some of the best minds in the business developing its map. Breeze has hired former Allegiant Air-executive Lukas Johnson as its commercial chief. Johnson has a reputation for finding successful underserved routes between small- or medium-sized cities.

Related: JetBlue founder’s new U.S. airline now has a name: Breeze Airways

The application does specify any cities Breeze that is eyeing for initial flights. A map included in the filing shows major U.S. metropolitan areas that gained or lost airline seats between 2007 and 2017, with many areas in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley — including Cincinnati (CVG), Cleveland (CLE) and Pittsburgh (PIT) — shown as having lost seats.

Even a canvas of airport officials attending the Routes Americas forum in Indianapolis earlier in February did not paint a firm picture of Breeze's route plans.

"Who aren't they talking to?" one airport official said when asked if they had met to Breeze.

Related: JetBlue founder’s new U.S. airline to launch with Azul E-Jets

Featured image by A rendering of an Embraer E195 in the planned livery for start-up carrier Breeze Airways. (Image courtesy of Breeze Airways.)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023