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Breeze unveils first 17 Airbus A220 routes with new first-class product

Jan. 19, 2022
7 min read
Breeze unveils first 17 Airbus A220 routes with new first-class product
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Update (4/20/22): Breeze has delayed the Airbus A220 inaugural from May 4 to May 25, due to a longer-than-expected certification process. The inaugural is now set for May 25.


The next phase of growth for new airline startup Breeze Airways is about to take hold.

The carrier, which officially launched operations in May 2021, announced on Wednesday the details of its Airbus A220 rollout plan. As part of a booking window extension through Sept. 6, Breeze is assigning the first of its A220s to shorter-haul domestic routes beginning on May 4. That's subject to government approval, assuming that the airline receives permission from the FAA to add the A220 to its operating certificate.

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If all goes as expected, Breeze will deploy the A220 on 17 existing routes this summer, with many more to come as the airline takes delivery of more jets. It'll have 15 A220-300s in its fleet by the end of 2022, with plans to add one new jet each month for the next six and a half years, bringing the total to 80 jets.

You'll find the full list of domestic routes getting the A220 at the bottom of this post, but for aviation enthusiasts looking to book the inaugural, it appears that it's currently scheduled for May 4 from Tampa (TPA) to Oklahoma City (OKC) on Flight Number 118, departing a 6:00 a.m. local time.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

For now, Breeze is scheduling the Airbus A220 on short domestic hops, but the airline plans to quickly expand operations to longer-haul flights, including transcontinental routes. The airline promises to announce "new, longer" routes in the "coming weeks," which jives with what founder and CEO David Neeleman told reporters at a dinner party late last year celebrating the unveiling of the carrier's A220.

Pressed for a more concrete example of an A220 route, Neeleman said that they’ll be “decidedly more long-haul.” He kept using the descriptors of “long haul” and “transcontinental.”

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Adding the A220 to the airline's all-Embraer fleet marks a major new chapter for the carrier — and for the onboard passenger experience. Breeze's A220s will be the first in its fleet to offer a first-class product, dubbed the "Nicest" product.

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These recliners have 39 inches of pitch, 20.5 inches of width and a footrest for additional comfort. First-class seats also have in-seat power outlets, USB-A and USB-C ports and a water bottle storage compartment. The oversized tray table can easily fit a 15-inch laptop.

Breeze's first-class product is arranged in an industry-standard 2-2 configuration, but the number of first-class seats on each jet will vary, as Breeze is planning to adjust the proportion of "Nicest" seats on each jet based on demand trends.

The airline's first A220 has a whopping 36 first-class seats, but some will feature as few as 12.

While Breeze is debuting the new "hard product" in May, the airline isn't going to differentiate the onboard experience just yet. Fresh food items will be introduced later this year on longer routes, it says.

To snag a first-class seat, passengers will need to purchase a new, more expensive fare type, the "Nicest" fare, which includes additional perks like increased frequent flyer points earning, a carry-on bag, two free checked bags, a snack and drink and priority boarding.

Breeze says that it's introducing the cabin with a special $99 fare available for purchase on select flights through Jan. 25, 2022.

The A220 isn't just big news for first-class flyers. The aircraft is also outfitted with plenty of improvements for coach passengers as well. For one, it'll feature streaming entertainment and high-speed Wi-Fi internet access (for a "nominal" fee) later this year.

Additionally, all coach seats have a USB-A and USB-C port for charging mobile devices.

Just like the first-class cabin, Breeze is planning to dynamically adjust the number of extra-legroom "Nicer" seats based on demand trends and seasonality. Breeze's first A220 has 10 extra-legroom seats, but that number can jump up to 45 depending on the configuration. There will be 80 standard "Nice" coach seats on all A220s.

The extra-legroom and standard coach seats are arranged in a 2-3 configuration, meaning that there's just one middle seat per row. The A220 has some other flyer-friendly improvements, including large overhead bins with room for one rollaboard per passenger, oversized windows (measuring 11 inches wide by 16 inches tall), roughly 20-inch wide aisles and snazzy mood lighting.

For more details about the new jet, take a look at our detailed first look at Breeze's A220-300.

Breeze's A220 isn't just a step up for flyers. From the airline perspective, the A220 offers exceptional economics, with lower operating costs per seat compared to similar aircraft. The aircraft was purpose-built for the 100 to 150 seat market segment with nearly 1,100 nautical miles more range than other single-aisle jets.

Other savings include lower fuel burn, carbon emissions and a nearly 50% noise reduction compared to similar jets.

Breeze is one of America’s newest startup airlines, founded by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, who’s perhaps most famous in the U.S. for launching JetBlue. Neeleman has also been involved in numerous other airlines worldwide, including Azul in Brazil and WestJet in Canada.

The airline launched in May 2021 with 39 routes between 16 midsized markets, focused on cities that Breeze calculated are too small for major carriers to serve beyond flights to their hubs. To date, the airline’s fleet consists of a handful of used Embraer E190 and E195 jets — but that's about to change.

Breeze's first 17 Airbus A220 routes

Not every frequency on the following routes will be operated by the Airbus A220. Search for your flight on flybreeze.com and then check if a "Nicest" fare is available. If it is, then you'll be flying on the A220.

Of course, schedules are always subject to change, especially due to the pandemic.

Tampa to:

  • Akron/Canton (starting May 4)
  • Charleston (starting May 4)
  • Louisville (starting May 4)
  • Norfolk (starting May 4)
  • Oklahoma City (starting May 4)
  • Richmond (starting May 4)
  • Tulsa (starting May 5)
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville (starting May 6)
  • Huntsville (starting May 6)

Charleston to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)
  • Providence (starting May 5)
  • Richmond (starting May 26)
  • Hartford (starting June 2)
  • Huntsville (starting June 30)

Norfolk to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)
  • Columbus (starting June 2)
  • Hartford (starting June 2)

Richmond to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)
  • Charleston (starting May 26)

Akron/Canton, OK to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)

Louisville to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)

Oklahoma City to:

  • Tampa (starting May 4)

Providence to:

  • Charleston (starting May 5)

Tulsa to:

  • Tampa (starting May 5)

Bentonville/Fayetteville to:

  • Tampa (starting May 6).

Huntsville to:

  • Tampa (starting May 6)
  • Charleston (starting June 30)

Hartford to:

  • Charleston (starting June 2)
  • Columbus (starting June 2)
  • Norfolk (starting June 2)
  • Pittsburgh; (starting June 2)

Columbus to:

  • Hartford (starting June 2)
  • Norfolk (starting June 2)

Pittsburgh to:

  • Hartford (starting June 2)
Featured image 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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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023