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

Jan 28, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman’s new airline venture Breeze Aviation has a deal for its first jets, with an agreement for more than two-dozen used Embraer E-Jets with Brazilian carrier Azul in hand.

Breeze, which has frequently been referred to as “Moxy” in the press, will sublease up to 28 E195s from Azul by 2022, the Brazilian carrier unveiled Tuesday. The delivery timeline is unclear, though Azul aims to remove all of its E195s by the end of 2021.

The E-Jet deal has been in the works for months. In September, Neeleman told The Air Current that Breeze was near an agreement with Azul to take up to 30 E195s in order to launch flights in 2020. Breeze has orders for 60 Airbus A220-300s, however, deliveries do not begin until 2021.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 17, 2018: Brazilian government now allows foreign investors to own up to 100% of the capital of Brazilian airlines. Previously, Brazilian law allowed foreigners to own at most 20% of the capital of these companies. In this image: Azul Linhas Aereas airplane, an Embraer 195 taking off from Santos Dumont Airport, in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo by Luiz Souza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
An Azul Embraer E195 taking off from Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo by Luiz Souza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Azul plans to remove its 53 leased and seven owned E195s by 2022, replacing them with larger and more fuel efficient E195-E2s. Up to 32 of the leased jets will go to LOT Polish Airlines with transitions beginning in February, and the balance going to Breeze, said Azul CEO John Rodgerson on an investor call Tuesday.

In September, the Brazilian carrier took delivery of its first E2, which Azul says is more than a quarter cheaper to operate per seat than the older-generation E1s it is getting rid of.

None of the senior leadership team from Azul, which Neeleman founded in 2008, will be departing the airline for Breeze, Rodgerson told analysts.

Related: JetBlue founder David Neeleman to base new airline in Salt Lake City

There are still many questions surrounding Breeze’s business plan. While the airline will be headquartered in Salt Lake City and initially fly E195s and later A220s, the carrier’s brand name — Breeze is the corporate name and Moxy the original “codename” — is still up in the air, as is the carrier’s initial route map.

In October 2018, Neeleman described the new venture as a “technology company that happens to fly airplanes,” adding that the customer experience will be “very high-tech, very high-touch.”

As for routes, he said the carrier planned to fly between “places that can only be connected now via at least one stop and plane change.”

One major outstanding question is Breeze’s operating certificate, a critical prerequisite to launching passenger flights. Recent attempts to start new carriers in the U.S. have been fraught with lengthy waits for Federal Aviation Administration approvals. Some turned to leveraging, or buying, an existing airline’s operating certificate — often with little success.

However, if anyone can successfully navigate the certification process it is Neeleman, who has a successful track record launching new airlines from Morris Air to JetBlue and Azul.

A spokesperson for Breeze was not immediately available for comment.

Related: JetBlue Founder’s Startup Airline ‘Moxy’ Places Firm Order for 60 Airbus A220s

Featured image by Luiz Souza/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.