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JetBlue's Founder Debuting New Budget Airline This Year
Breeze Airways, a new budget airline created by JetBlue’s David Neeleman, is set to debut this year. The airline was initially set to launch late last year, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to Breeze and JetBlue, Neeleman is also the creator of Azul Brazilian Airlines, WestJet, and Morris Air, which he sold to Southwest Airlines.
Like his other airlines, Breeze will aim to provide affordable flights with convenient features for customers. These features will include mobile apps aimed to make many processes self-serve in order to simplify and streamline travel. Issues, for example, will be able to be handled through the airline’s app, eliminating the need to have to call customer service.
“I prefer to say we’re a high-tech company that just happens to fly airplanes,” said Neeleman in a statement. “We want something where nobody ever has to call, pick up the phone to call us, or have a hassle.”
Likewise, ticketing, checking in, and printing luggage passes will be done utilizing technology such as the Breeze Airways app and website, and self-service kiosks in airports.
The airline aims to keep personnel at a minimum to keep costs down, however, there will be some staff members at airports to assist non-tech savvy passengers.
Breeze will also offer on-board Wi-Fi, although it is not yet clear if it will be complimentary. Instead of a seat-back entertainment system, passengers will be able to stream content to their own devices.
The airline will also have a first class section on its flights, an offering not common with budget airlines.
Breeze Airways will operate many routes in mid-size cities that are underserved by major airlines.
“We think there’s a market where you can go with a smaller plane with a lower trip cost and service these cities that have been forgotten or neglected,” Neleeman said.
The airline’s cost-saving initiatives will result in lower fares for passengers. “I think the ability to have the lowest fare is what people want.”
Breeze’s front runner will be the Airbus A220, a fuel-efficient aircraft that will offer many desirable features for passengers, including ample legroom. With the A220s are set to arrive in August, the airline’s first flights will take place on board Embraer E195s, some of which began arriving at Breeze Airways in December.