Breeze Airways, the three-year-old airline started by serial entrepreneur David Neeleman, has received initial approval to start international service.

The airline, which operates mostly Airbus A220 aircraft in three-class configuration with 137 seats, already deploys the long 3,800nm (6,110km) range of the twinjet to fly transcontinental within the USA and is making plans to serve “warm weather destinations” first, says Neeleman.

Breeze Airways First A220-300

Source: Breeze Airways

Breeze Airways expects to end the year with around 45 aircraft, including 33 A220s.

While Salt Lake City, Utah-based Breeze has not received full “flag” status as an international carrier, it has received FAA approval for International Supplemental Operations. Neeleman tells Flightglobal that he expects final approval “by the end of the summer so that we can sell the winter season” for new international markets.

Breeze chief commercial officer Lukas Johnson says Latin America and the Caribbean would be initial international points, with Europe and Hawaii coming later.

Breeze, which calls its service “premium leisure,” serves 56 cities and Neeleman cites its growing base in Providence, Rhode Island – north of New York, south of Boston – as a planned launch point for Caribbean and Europe service in addition to other East Coast bases. He said new destinations in Europe would include Ireland and UK.

The airline will finish 2024 with roughly 45 aircraft, including 33 A220s and 10-13 Embraer E190s, which are flying almost exclusively in an expanded sports charter operation. The A220 can reach Iceland, Ireland, England, Scotland, Netherlands and other markets.

Breeze, which launched operations in May 2021, posted its first operating profit during March and April and Neeleman cites a strong response from passengers to its three-class configuration on the A220s, dubbed Nice, Nicer and Nicest. “We’re an upgraded experience that really resonates with our customers,” Neeleman says. “Don’t call us a low-cost carrier.

“We have industry-leading ancillary revenue and industry-leading NPS scores,” Neeleman adds, referring to Net Promoter Score measuring customer loyalty. “Usually those two metrics don’t go hand in hand,” he notes. Johnson says Breeze’s NPS scores are “in the 60s and reach 70”.