JetBlue Founder Launches Breeze Airways, Calling It ‘World’s Nicest Airline’

An aircraft with Breeze Airways, an airline started by the founder of JetBlue and expected to debut in 2020, appears in this photo. (Credit: Breeze Airways via CNN)

An aircraft with Breeze Airways, an airline started by the founder of JetBlue and expected to debut in 2020, appears in this photo. (Credit: Breeze Airways via CNN)

Twenty years after launching JetBlue from an office building in Queens, New York, its founder has filed plans to launch a new airline with flights starting by year’s end.

Breeze Airways, which has applied for an airline operating certificate with the US Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, is actually founder David Neeleman’s fifth airline start-up. Besides JetBlue, he’s also launched Morris Air, WestJet and Azul.

Initially, Breeze will target mid-sized US city pairs that don’t currently have nonstop service. “Breeze will fly non-stop service between places currently without meaningful or affordable service,” said Neeleman, Breeze’s CEO and president, in a press release.

“We brought humanity back to the airline industry with JetBlue,” Neeleman said. “Today, we’re excited to introduce plans for ‘the World’s Nicest Airline.'”

Benét Wilson covered the start of JetBlue 20 years ago for an airline trade publication.

The airline’s concept of an upgraded low-cost carrier “seemed crazy at the time, but 20 years later, here we are,” said Wilson, who is now credit cards editor at The Points Guy travel website. “David Neeleman has a great track record when it comes to starting airlines, so I wouldn’t bet against him on Breeze.”

The new airline has leased 30 Embraer 195 aircraft to serve smaller markets. Those planes are slated for delivery starting in May.

Breeze has also ordered 60 new Airbus 220-300 airplanes to serve mid-sized markets, and those will start being delivered in April 2021.

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