With new planes in its fleet and serving a market where 80% of companies do not fly, David Neeleman’s new airline managed to close 2021 with more than 330,000 passengers carried, after a few months of flight operations.
Starting with just one flight and an Embraer E195 aircraft at the end of May 2021, Breeze Airways has now reached 42 routes in the United States, operating 5,500 flights as of December 31. The company ends the year with 330,000 passengers transported and 14 aircraft in the fleet.
In his statement, Neeleman also pointed out that 80% of the routes he operates have no competition, a number similar to that applied by Azul in Brazil. As a result of the “lack of competition”, in its first months of operation, Breeze counts 20% of its customers as recurring on its flights.
The company plans to continue to expand its fleet throughout 2022, with more Embraer E195s to be sub-leased by Azul along with new A220s. In February alone, eight new routes will be launched, including two new airports where the airline does not operate: Islip (Long Island) and West Palm Beach.
The company has 80 Airbus A220-300 orders, and one aircraft has already been delivered and is expected to start operating in the coming months.
Unlike many airlines, Neeleman promised to end the year with this approximate number of routes and aircraft in the fleet. Even with variants of Covid-19 and the impacts of the pandemic in the United States, the company has continued to gain traction and is impressive for a newbie who has been operating flights for just over seven months.
Neeleman said most of Breeze Airways’ current routes are profitable on a “variable basis”, although an additional stopover is required to cover the airline’s overhead.
“It’s been a really good summer for our first summer,” he added. “We launched with 16 cities and 39 routes and 13 aircraft. Our turnover in October was higher than in July, so we are doing well.