Is It Possible That Breeze Airways Will Become Disruptor?

Discount airline Breeze Airways will boldly push into its second summer of flying as demand for travel remains strong. The company will pursue a strategy of expanding into unserved city pairs, where it intends to utilize low rates to create market demand. As Breeze creator David Neeleman put it, “it’s no different from what has been done since the inception of aviation: the cheaper the ticket, the greater the number of people who go.”

This month, the airline stated that it would expand its summer route network by ten cities, bringing the total number of cities served by the carrier to 28. The company’s network will almost double in size, from 42 to 77 routes. Airbus A220-300, which has a range of roughly 3,800 miles, or around 1,000 miles greater than the current Embraer E190-series fleet, will also be added to Breeze’s fleet in the near future.

Breeze will extend its operation to include West Coast destinations and cross-country travel to midsize towns with the debut by the end of the summer of up to 10 of the ultimate 80 A220s that the airline has on order. The airline will operate out of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

The A220s will also be the first aircraft to carry Breeze’s first-class product, termed Nicest, which is often sold for a fraction of the price of first-class tickets on established airlines.

According to Willis Orlando, a senior product operations expert for Scott’s Cheap Flights, a service that notifies users to deals at their local airports, those premium cabin seats would undercut major airlines’ premium pricing by hundreds of dollars. In the words of Orlando, “They have the potential to be a huge disruptor in the same way that JetBlue and Southwest were.”

Is It Possible That Breeze Airways Will Become Disruptor - Travelrnews
Is It Possible That Breeze Airways Will Become Disruptor – Travelrnews

Founder of JetBlue as well as WestJet and Azul, Neeleman has said that Breeze would concentrate on city pairings that presently lack nonstop service while taking use of a low-cost structure to keep prices as cheap as possible. The airline launched operations in May of last year.

Routes such as San Francisco-Louisville, Ky., and Los Angeles-Norfolk, Va., are two examples of the sorts of areas that Breeze will enter as the lone carrier on east-to-west routes, according to the company.

A challenging first year, to say the least. Breeze’s first ten months of operations were marred by unforeseen obstacles, according to Neeleman, with the Covid-19 delta variant having a negative effect on revenue in September and omicron having the greatest impact in January.

Breeze had a load factor of 61.2 percent in December, the most recent month for which data is available from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This is much lower than the total load factor of 79.7 percent achieved by U.S. airlines in the same month.

Demand, on the other hand, is surging right now, according to Neeleman, who is echoing findings from throughout the United States airline sector. In addition, owing to the high price of oil, Breeze will operate at a somewhat lower capacity than it had anticipated for the summer, similar to other US airlines. Overall, the upstart airline is still fairly tiny, with just approximately one-third the summer capacity anticipated as compared to the Minneapolis-based budget carrier Sun Country Airlines.

The summer itinerary provides clear signals as to which of Breeze’s eastern United States locations has showed the greatest promise so far. Breeze’s main stations were in Tampa, New Orleans, Charleston, South Carolina, and Norfolk, Virginia, when the company debuted last year. Flight schedule data from Cirium reveals that Breeze is expanding its capacity and route offers in the Charleston and Norfolk markets.

While Breeze has reduced its service from New Orleans, the carrier has boosted its total frequency count from Tampa, while it has reduced the number of routes it serves from ten last July to nine this year.

According to Brett Snyder, an airline industry expert who writes the Cranky Flier blog, the true test of Breeze’s development will come when the airline begins to expand operations with the A220 aircraft. Due to the fact that the airline has ordered 80 of those planes and has intentions to employ some of those planes for international service in the future, the carrier’s route network will ultimately be designed mostly around that type.

“It seems like it makes no difference whether things are going smoothly or badly. They’re simply trying to go ahead “Snyder expressed himself. “When it comes to David Neeleman, it’s all about rapid expansion. He loses his mind with all of his airlines: he simply continues going till it either works or fails.”
And thus far, according to Snyder, Neeleman hasn’t come up short.

As of now, most of Breeze’s business strategy, according to Neeleman, is focused on increasing demand for its nonstop routes that are relatively new to local markets. He anticipates, for example, that once Breeze starts providing direct service to Las Vegas this summer from destinations like as Charleston and Syracuse, New York, the airline will be able to capitalize on hitherto untapped demand in those areas.

There is a lot of pilot training going on right now, as well as a lot of flight attendant training going on,” he said. “There are a lot of markets that need to mature, but we’re on the right course.”

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