After rapidly growing its domestic flight offerings since its launch in May 2021, low-cost carrier Breeze Airways is now aiming to fly passengers a bit further afield. Earlier this month, Breeze’s chief commercial officer Lukas Johnson said that the airline is working to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate flights outside of the United States.
“We’re in the process with the FAA of getting flag ops added,” Johnson said at the Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas on November 16. If Breeze Airways gets certified for what the FAA calls “flag operations,” the airline would be allowed to fly outside the 48 contiguous states to Alaska, Hawaii, and international destinations.
A spokesperson for Breeze confirmed to AFAR that the airline is planning for international service but said that FAA certifications take time so it is too early to say just when the airline would be able to start operating foreign flights and where they would fly.
Nevertheless, the timing is interesting considering that Breeze is the brainchild of JetBlue founder David Neeleman—and low-cost competitor JetBlue is currently in the midst of an international expansion of its own having recently announced that it will be adding Paris to its flight roster after introducing flights to London last year.
Breeze’s international aspirations follow a year and a half of swift expansion stateside. After taking flight in May 2021 from 16 destinations (most in the Eastern and Southeastern U.S.), Breeze now has a network encompassing 106 nonstop routes between 35 cities in 20 states—including flights between the East and West coasts for as low as $104 each way.
The carrier operates a fleet of Airbus A220 jets equipped with 36 first-class seats in a two-by-two configuration and 90 economy seats in a two-by-three layout (some with extra legroom). It also uses some smaller Embraer 190 and 195 regional aircraft. Breeze tells AFAR that the “Airbus A220 range is suitable for international service so we wouldn’t require additional aircraft” when the international flights launch. Breeze has placed an order for 80 A220s with the option to purchase 40 more.
The airline has a three-tiered fare model: “Nice,” its no-frills class; “Nicer,” a midprice product including things like a free checked bag; and “Nicest,” the airline’s version of first class, with bigger seats, more legroom, two checked bags, and free drinks and snacks. Among the benefits of flying Breeze are no change or cancellation fees up to 15 minutes prior to departure and free family seating.
Currently, Breeze flies from both Westchester County Airport and Long Island MacArthur Airport in New York; Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans; Los Angeles International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas; Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Georgia; Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut; and Richmond International Airport, among other domestic hubs. The airline most recently added Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona to its flight roster.