NEW ORLEANS – Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the City of New Orleans and the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), in partnership with Gov. John Bel Edwards, announced today that Breeze Airways, the new “Seriously Nice” U.S. carrier from JetBlue founder David Neeleman, will launch service in New Orleans to 10 destinations this July with MSY serving as an operations base for the airline.
The 10 cities Breeze will launch service to include: Charleston, SC (starting July 8); Akron/Canton, OH (July 15); Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR (July 15); Huntsville, AL (July 15); Louisville, KY (July 15); Norfolk, VA (July 15); Oklahoma, OK (July 15); Richmond, VA (July 15); Tulsa, OK (July 15); and Columbus, OH (July 16). With the exception of Louisville, KY and Columbus, OH—which are currently underserved, all are new destinations for MSY.
“Our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is putting New Orleans on the best track to be one of the safest places to live and visit,” said Mayor Cantrell. “This connection to new and more cities shows that not only are we a safe place to visit, but the right place to do business. With the expansion and investment from Breeze Airways, MSY will continue to serve as a prominent gateway and aviation hub for the state and the Gulf South region.”
With New Orleans as an operations base for the airline, Breeze Airways will make a capital investment of $6.6 million at MSY and will create 261 new direct jobs, with an average salary of $65,000, plus benefits. Flight crews, maintenance staff and aircraft will be based in New Orleans. Initially, Breeze Airways will provide up to nine daily departures on peak days, with opportunities for more departures in the future. Breeze flights will arrive and depart at Concourse A, located on the west end of the terminal.
In addition to the New Orleans service, Breeze debuted its full network today, which includes 39 nonstop routes between 16 cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and Eastern US. Breeze is Mr Neeleman’s fifth airline start-up, after JetBlue, Brazil’s Azul, Canada’s WestJet, and Utah-based Morris Air, which was later purchased by Southwest Airlines. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Breeze will focus most flights from four main airports: Tampa, FL; Charleston, SC; New Orleans, LA; and Norfolk, VA.
Joined by an experienced team of industry veterans, Neeleman set out to build an airline that offers a great experience, with low fares and high flexibility: “Together, we created Breeze as a new airline merging technology with kindness. Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares. A staggering 90 percent of Breeze routes currently have no airline serving them nonstop. With seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees, up to 24-months of reusable flight credit and customized flight features delivered via a sleek and simple app, Breeze makes it easy to buy and easy to fly.”
“Breeze Airways coming on board at MSY is not only a major win for New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast Region, but it’s also a positive sign that recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 is near,” said Judge Michael Bagneris, Chair of the New Orleans Aviation Board. “As an airport, we are always leaning forward and seeking opportunities to provide more flights options to travelers, and I am thrilled to announce this new partnership with Breeze today. I encourage everyone to take advantage of these convenient, low cost flights to new destinations across the country.”
“We are extremely proud that Breeze Airways has recognized the vitality of the New Orleans market by kicking off with a significant presence at MSY and offering greater connectivity to and from this region,” said Kevin C. Dolliole, Director of Aviation for MSY. “With the options for affordable fares to more destinations, we believe the New Orleans community is more than ready to take advantage of everything Breeze Airways has to offer. I thank Breeze for making this significant investment in our local economy, and I am confident this is just the beginning of what will be a long and fruitful partnership.”
The Local Impact
Representatives from MSY began discussions with Breeze representatives on new activity in New Orleans in May 2019, and in October 2020, the airline was connected with partner agencies across the City of New Orleans and State of Louisiana to establish community support for this opportunity.
To secure the airline’s investment in New Orleans, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart® – the nation’s No. 1 workforce training and talent attraction program for the past 11 years. Additionally, the airline will receive a performance-based grant of $2.3 million over the next 10 years to support the company’s entry into MSY. The company also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs program. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 877 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 1,138 new jobs in the New Orleans area.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we understand full well the amount of pent-up excitement to travel once more, both for excited tourists to experience our unique and welcoming culture, as well as for Louisiana residents to explore new destinations,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Today, I am proud to announce new destination offerings, courtesy of our latest airline partner, Breeze Airways. In addition to these exciting routes, Breeze Airways is also creating great new opportunities for our people as they establish their maintenance base at MSY. We welcome Breeze Airways and wish them success here in New Orleans and beyond.”
Breeze Airways selected MSY as part of its initial slate of destinations, due in part to the city’s broad appeal for tourism, as well as its position among underserved markets – a key target for Breeze’s growth strategy. Additionally, New Orleans is geographically positioned for both short-haul operations and longer-haul operations in the future.
“As we welcome visitors back to Louisiana, I’m thrilled Breeze Airways is coming to New Orleans,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “With its direct flight offerings, more travelers will have the opportunity to experience how you can ‘Feed Your Soul’ in Louisiana with delicious food, amazing music and a culture unlike anywhere else in the world.”
Breeze will operate 13 single-class Embraer aircraft this summer, flying routes with an average flight length under two hours. The ten E190 jets will be configured to seat 108 Guests while the three E195 aircraft will have 118 seats. Guests may choose from fares that include ‘Nice’ regular seating, or ‘Nicer’ seats with extra legroom. All Embraer aircraft will be a two-by-two seat configuration, so there are no middle seats.
Breeze also has ordered 60 brand new Airbus A220 aircraft that will be delivered one per month for five years, starting in October this year. The A220 routes, which will be announced this fall, all will be longer than two hours’ flight time. The A220s will include a premium cabin, ‘Nicest,’ in a two-by-two configuration at the front of the plane. The remainder of the aircraft will feature a two-by-three seat configuration.
Low Fares, High Flex and Earned Credit With Each Flight – And No Change or Cancellation Fees
Breeze’s introductory fares start at just $39* and there are no change or cancellation fees. Guests earn credit called “BreezePoints” on all purchases that can be used towards future flights or other ancillary products, such as bags and seat assignments. Guests can change or cancel a flight up to 15 minutes before scheduled departure without penalty. Unused funds from changes and cancellations are automatically saved in the Guest’s Breeze account and do not expire for 24 months.
About Breeze Airways
Founded by aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze Airways is a new low cost airline offering point-to-point flights from smaller secondary airports, bypassing hubs for shorter travel times. Breeze’s team is a group of aviation experts and fanatics, working day and night to build a ‘Seriously Nice’ airline. Breeze’s mission is to make the world of travel simple, affordable and convenient, using technology, ingenuity and kindness to improve the travel experience. For those interested in applying for employment with Breeze Airways, please visit: https://jobs.flybreeze.com/
Breeze Airways Press Release: http://ow.ly/JJJ450EScBg