Breeze triples down on Florida and adds new routes — and teases international destinations
13.09.2023 - 07:07
/ David Neeleman
Breeze Airways is doubling down on what it knows works best. And then some.
The upstart budget airline will triple its service to Florida this winter compared to last year, expecting to operate a total of 1,402 flights to and from Florida, linking 51 city pairs.
The airline also plans to add service from the airport's newest city: Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG), near Montreal along the Canadian border, to Orlando International Airport (MCO). Breeze will also add a twice-weekly flight from Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Maine to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers. Breeze introduced service from Portland this past May with flights to Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Orlando.
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There are a total of 19 new and returning routes, generally connecting cities in the northern two-thirds of the country with Florida. The notable exception: a flight from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to Fort Myers.
A full list of the routes is available at the bottom of this article.
"We're really focusing on seasons," David Neeleman, the airline's founder, told TPG in an interview. "It's a pivot to Florida for the winter, and you'll see it kind of switch back in the summer."
Neeleman, who is best known for founding New York-based JetBlue, noted that the airline's flexibility and dynamism allow it to move its network around based on expected demand and seasonality, more so than traditional carriers.
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"That's the advantage we have over just the regular scheduled carriers," Neeleman said. "We'd really prefer to fly what people want to fly."
Breeze launched in 2021 with a point-to-point business model, eschewing hubs in favor of point-to-point flying between city pairs that do not have competing nonstop service.
The airline began by operating short flights of less than two hours with a fleet of Embraer jets leased from Azul Airlines in Brazil, which Neeleman also founded. The airline has since added the Airbus A220 to its fleet, which has the range to connect any two cities in the continental U.S., allowing Breeze to expand and operate longer-range routes between smaller airports.
Read more: Neeleman's new airline Breeze will use a 'see how it goes' approach to succeed. And business class — eventually
The business model, and the ability to shift large amounts of its capacity around, helps the airline even as larger carriers predict a slowdown in domestic travel demand, or at least in pricing power.
"It allows us to have higher yields, particularly in times of domestic softness," Neeleman said.