David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue, will be launching Breeze towards the end of 2020. This airline will be adopting the Blue Ocean strategy, where it wants to provide low cost and high quality flights to passengers. It also aims to serve small and mid size US city pairs, where there is no existing direct flight. Last but not least, the airline wants to install removable First Class seats on their Airbus A220.
Aircraft Types – Embraer E195 & Airbus A220
The airline will first operate the Embraer E195 jets, before they receive their Airbus A220 aircraft from mid 2021 onward. At present, Breeze has ordered 60 A220 aircraft, while it plans to lease up to 30 E196 Jets from Azul. Azul is a Brazilian airline which was founded by Neeleman in 2008, the year when he left JetBlue.
Cabin Seats – Economy Class & Removal First Class
The Embraer E195 will be an all Economy Class aircraft. This aircraft is expected to have around 120 seats; with the front rows likely to be marketed as ‘Economy Plus’, offering extra legroom seats.
As for the Airbus A220, Breeze will be introducing First Class service (equivalent to Business Class in other markets). The airline is now considering either the flatbed, the recliner or both for its First Class seats.
Breeze is currently working with a seat maker to develop a new seat, which will allow quick and efficient removal between flights. Neeleman explained that, “the configuration on the A220 is flexible. We can do 145 coach seats with extra legroom in the front, or take out seats before the exit and put in 36 First Class seats if we want to.”
Right now one thing for sure is that the First Class seats will not have personal screens, in order to facilitate fast removal and re-installation. Passengers will be able to stream Breeze’s in-flight entertainment using their own devices over WiFi.
Targeted Routes – Point to Point Under Served US cities
Breeze is aiming to connect under-served US city pairs, which currently have no direct flight service. Neeleman has no interest in launching a service where there is existing direct competition.
Ideally the Embraer E195 should connect small cities and operate up to two hours, while the Airbus A220 should serve the mid-size markets. These two different aircraft will never operate on the same route. As explained by Neeleman, “they are on separate missions – one is an apple and one is an orange.”
In near future, Breeze will also be looking at trans-continental routes between US East Coasts and US West Coast. Given the flexibility of A220, the airline is also interested in operating international routes to South America and Europe.