Friday February 7th, JetBlue founder and prolific aviation entrepreneur David Neelman officially launched his fifth airline, the third one he started in the United States.
While it has been no secret that he has been in the process of starting a new US budget carrier, the code name for the project in the industry had been named Moxy Airlines. It was revealed on Friday that the official name of the airline will be Breeze Airways. The management company that will run the airline will be known as Breeze Aviation. The airline will be headquartered out of Salt Lake City Utah, but it is not clear if Salt Lake City will serve as a main hub for the airline or not.
The business model for the new airline will be a point to point airline in which the airline will fly to multiple destinations from each of the airports that it flies from. No announcement was made Friday about what airports the new airline would be serving. However, it had been previously announced earlier this year that Breeze Airways would be leasing 30 Embraer Regional Jets from Neelman’s Brazilian airline Azul so that the new airline could start flying by the end of 2020. It was also revealed that the new airline had filed its paperwork with the FAA to get certification to fly.
In addition to the 30 leased jets from Azul, Neelman ordered 60 Airbus A220 planes in 2018 for the airline. Breeze Airways is expected to start taking delivery of those planes in 2021 from Airbus’s manufacturing facility in Mobile Alabama. Airbus promised to assemble all of the A220 airplanes destined for US Airlines at its facility in Mobile when it acquired a majority stake in the program from Canada’s Bombardier and is building a second final assembly line to accommodate that production.
Because Breeze Airways wants to service mid-size markets with airports that don’t have service other than to major hubs, there are two airports in Alabama that fit that model. Huntsville Airport, which is currently conducting a very public courtship on social media of Southwest Airlines, is a growing mid-sized city in Alabama that might be an attractive market for Breeze Airways. Mobile, whose also growing and where their new planes will be built, just recently lost its only ultra low cost carrier that serves the market, Frontier Airlines, to new business opportunities and bigger markets. Mobile’s downtown airport is also easily accessible from the interstate, from Pascagoula and Gulfport Mississippi as well as cities on the Eastern shore and Baldwin County and Pensacola Florida. The City of Mobile also took steps recently to further the process of trying to attract Amtrak passenger rail service from New Orleans to Mobile, in which the passenger rail terminal will be located on the same airport property as the downtown airport.
Previous to Breeze, Neelman started Morris Air, JetBlue, Azul, and WestJet. He also runs TAP Portugal.