Start-up carrier Breeze Airways has converted 10 Airbus A220-300 options to firm orders as the three-year old company is anticipated to be profitable for the first time in 2024.

In addition, chief executive David Neeleman said on 20 February that by the end of this year, the Utah-based company will fly all of its scheduled service on the new Airbus type.

“We wouldn’t be the airline we are today without Airbus,” Neeleman says. “The A220-300 is a game-changer aircraft. The economics of the aircraft enable us to fly long, thin routes profitably.”


Source: Pittsburgh International airport

Breeze firms 10 A220-300 options and will be profitable in 2024

Breeze launched operations in May 2021 with a fleet of Embraer E190s and E195s, initially with 60 A220 orders and 60 options. It took delivery of its first A220 in December 2021 and today operates 22 of the type. By the end of 2024, it will have 32 of the Airbus jets in service.

In the past two years Breeze upped its order book to 80, and now has added an additional ten, with deliveries scheduled through 2028. The airline also still has 30 options.

“With 90 firm orders, Breeze is now one of the world’s top three A220 customers,” Neeleman says.

The serial airline entrepreneur - Breeze is the fifth carrier he has launched since the 1980s - says company executives are acutely aware of delivery bottlenecks in the coming years, so that is why Breeze has moved with the orders now.

“It’s a great time to exercise the options,” Neeleman says. “You have to exercise options to get in line. That’s a critical factor as we look at the lineup of deliveries.”

Breeze also plans to shift all of its scheduled operations to A220s by the end of this year, with the Embraer jets, which will remain in the airline’s fleet through 2026, serving the airline’s charter routes. Neeleman says the company will have just 10 of those left at the end of 2024, down from 16 currently, according to Cirium fleets data.

”Breeze currently has a diverse breadth of charter clients, including private, corporate, and both professional and collegiate sports, and has seen a year-over-year increase of up to 51% in peak months,” the company adds.


In addition to the new orders, Neeleman says he expects that 2024 will also mark the first time that Breeze will not post a loss.

“We fully anticipate making a profit this year, and more and more in years to come,” he says.

The transition from loss to profit “happened later than I anticipated”, Neeleman admits. “We didn’t get as efficient as we could soon enough but we are getting to that point now and we are really pleased with the business.”

The carrier now has 1,600 employees and has flown more than 3.5 million passengers on almost 40,000 flights since its maiden flight in 2021. Some 90% of its routes have no direct competition, making the airline a preferred choice to secondary cities such as Grand Junction, Colorado, Vero Beach, Florida and Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The airline also announced its 50th destination – Coastal Carolina Regional airport, in New Bern, North Carolina. From 24 May, Breeze will connect the city to Hartford, Connecticut in the Northeast, and Orlando. 

“In the last decade, we’ve seen the legacy airlines retreat from regional flying and literally hundreds of airports losing 25% or more of their air service,” Neeleman says. “The Covid pandemic only accelerated that trend and Breeze is uniquely positioned to provide our affordable and elevated form of air travel to hundreds more airports…in the coming years.”

He adds that the carrier is looking at “a couple of thousand routes which we think we could fly”.

“Breeze’s business model is to bring air service to underserved markets across the US, so the vast majority of our routes have no nonstop competition,” Neeleman adds. “We’re always growing, adding new cities and routes, but we’re also seeing more of our markets mature, resulting in more frequencies there, too.”