Breeze trims New Orleans flights as delta variant and Hurricane Ida slash demand
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Breeze Airways made its first permanent route cut this week, and reduced frequencies of several other routes, just three months after the airline began flying passengers.
The cuts, which follow several temporary reductions the airline made in July, were first noticed by Twitter user @IshrionA.
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Most of the affected flights are out of New Orleans (MSY), one of Breeze’s four focus cities, although the airline also reduced frequencies on several flights out of Tampa (TPA), another focus city.
The airline’s first permanent route cut will come Sept. 5, when it will stop flying between New Orleans and Huntsville, Alabama (HSV).
Additionally, Breeze will also reduce frequencies on the following routes, dropping from four weekly flights to two:
- New Orleans-Oklahoma City (OKC)
- New Orleans-Bentonville, Arkansas (XNA)
- New Orleans-Tulsa (TUL)
The following point-to-point routes are reduced from three weekly flights to two, aside from during weeks with major holidays this fall and winter:
- Tampa-Oklahoma City
A spokesperson for Breeze confirmed the cuts, noting that they were made in response to decreased bookings due to the delta variant and rise in covid cases, as well as the impact of Hurricane Ida in the New Orleans market.
Breeze, which was previously known by its codename, “Moxy,” was first announced by JetBlue founder David Neeleman in 2018. The airline began service in May 2021 following several months of delays.
The carrier was launched with a plan to focus on point-to-point routes between small, underserved cities. Eschewing hubs, and generally avoiding competition, Neeleman — who also founded Brazilian airline Azul and was previously a co-owner of TAP Portugal — has said the idea is to run a low-cost, nimble operation connecting city pairs that might not come top of mind.
Neeleman has previously suggested that this nimbleness would allow Breeze to rapidly adjust its schedule and try new routes based on demand and booking trends.
The downside, of course, is that passengers booking far ahead of time could see their flights changed or even canceled.
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