Breeze airline debut.
Airlines struggling to benefit from a travel rebound as the U.S. pandemic subsides have another competitor in the sky.
Breeze Airways, a new airline created by JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman, started selling tickets on Friday. It is the second US airline to debut in about a month.
Breeze Airways, Neeleman’s fifth airline, offers tariffs starting at $ 39 for routes that it claims to be underserved in the United States. Flights begin May 27, just before Memorial Day weekend, with connections from Charleston, South Carolina, to Tampa, Florida and Hartford. Connecticut. 39 routes are expected to be in operation by July 22, including Charleston to Columbus, Ohio, New Orleans and Huntsville, Alabama. Breeze will operate 10 Embraer 108-seat all-economy E-190 jets and three 118-seat E-195s.
Other routes added in July include connections from New Orleans to Tulsa, Oklahoma and Louisville, Kentucky.
“Covid was very tough for our industry, but we were able to take advantage of the low aircraft prices,” Neeleman told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday. “We have really low prices. We fly routes that really weren’t flown without interruption, really, never and with really low travel costs.”
Breeze says there are no fees for changing or canceling flights. Major airlines abolished standard economy ticket exchange fees during the pandemic in an effort to win back travelers. The start-up charges $ 20 for checked baggage or hand baggage.
Breeze isn’t the only new low-cost player in the US market. Avelo Airlines’ first flights took off last month with used Boeing 737s in Burbank, California. Andrew Levy, founder and CEO of the airline, former managing director of Allegiant Air and CFO of United Airlines until 2018, is also targeting underserved markets with non-stop service.
Breeze raised $ 83 million from investors and Neeleman invested $ 17 million.
The new airlines debut when the airlines hope to stop their losses when travelers return.
“I think all of the competition matters to us,” Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told shareholders this week. “And a lot will depend on which routes new airlines choose. For the most part, I don’t think … that we’re seeing a direct overlap with a lot of – well what I’ve seen – two new entrants … and at this stage theirs They are relatively small in corporate life. “
Neeleman first announced that he plans to start a new low-cost airline in June 2018.