Breeze encounters strong headwinds as it cancels new routes ahead of launch
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Breeze Airways, the year-old startup from JetBlue founder David Neeleman, is encountering some major growing pains.
The airline has postponed the launch of numerous new routes and markets, citing staffing shortages and supply chain constraints.
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The cuts, first spotted by Twitter user @IshrionA and confirmed by TPG, include the airline’s debut out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which had been scheduled to begin this week with three routes.
Breeze will not “wet lease” aircraft — an arrangement where the company leases a plane and the operating crew — in order to cover any of the affected routes, a spokesperson said.
“While we understand how disruptive this has been, we feel it’s best to let our Guests know sooner than later so they can make alternate plans,” a spokesperson for Breeze said in a statement. “By postponing some new routes for several months, we’ll greatly ease congestion and delays, and return to a reliable and efficient operation.”
Nevertheless, some of the cuts come just days ahead of planned route launches.
Los Angeles service was set to begin June 29, with a twice-weekly flight to Providence; further service to Norfolk, Virginia, and Savannah, Georgia, was scheduled to begin on June 30 and July 1, respectively. All three routes have been suspended until February 2023, according to Breeze.
Separately, service between LA and Westchester County Airport (HPN) in New York will begin Nov. 2. The service was originally scheduled to start Sept. 7.
Numerous other launch dates have been postponed:
- Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) to Huntsville International Airport (HSV) is delayed from Aug. 4 to Sept. 4.
- LAS to Charleston International Airport (CHS) is delayed from Aug. 5 to Sept. 7.
- HPN to Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) is delayed from June 30 to Oct. 6.
- HPN to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) is delayed from Sept. 9 to Oct. 7.
- SAV to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is delayed from Sept. 9 to Oct. 7.
- SAV to Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport (PVD) is delayed from June 3 to Feb. 3.
The airline also ended several seasonal routes early, including Savannah to Norfolk; Providence to Columbus, Ohio; Charleston to Huntsville, Alabama; and Jacksonville, Florida, to Richmond, Virginia.
“This was not an easy decision to make but trimming the schedule eases congestion and delays and it avoids the chance of greater disruption later,” the Breeze spokesperson said. “We’re not alone here. As we’ve seen with the industry this year, it’s made a lot worse if flights are cancelled in real-time.”
Nevertheless, passengers scheduled for the flights expressed their frustration to TPG.
“It’s hard to have confidence booking with them now, which is unfortunate as a Charleston resident previously excited by all the new destinations,” Dan Greenstein, a TPG reader, said in an email. “Much fanfare was made of their new routes months ago, but things seem to be quiet of them removing a lot of these from the schedule.”
Passengers who were booked on the canceled flights will receive 10,000 BreezePoints, the airline said — which is effectively a $100 statement credit.
The cuts come shortly after Breeze began service with its new fleet of Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which the airline planned to use to expand long-haul domestic flying.
In the notice sent to passengers, the airline said it remained committed to serving the affected markets.
“We are committed to bringing these flights back once we can provide the reliable and efficient service you deserve,” the email said. “We will continue to work our hardest to build Breeze Airways’ network and operation, creating excellent travel experiences.”
Featured photo by David Slotnick/The Points Guy.
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