Breeze Airways Gets Federal Nod to Operate
Startup budget carrier Breeze Airways got its Air Operator’s Certificate from the U.S. Department of Transportation last week but it’s remaining tight-lipped about where it will start flying.
The federal document reportedly grants the airline access to 49 airports but the initial schedule is thought to include only about half that many. The airline, the brainchild of JetBlue and WestJet founder David Neeleman, will start service with Embraer E190s but will start getting a large order of Airbus A220s in October.
The business plan is to fly direct between underserved secondary airports now reached mainly by regional airlines through big hubs.
The airline has already attracted controversy by announcing a plan to hire college students as flight attendants. The Salt Lake City-based carrier has reached a deal with Utah Valley University for a program that will give students their classes, housing and airport transportation plus a $1,200 monthly salary for providing “Seriously Nice” inflight service.
Once they graduate, their job ends. Labor unions have decried the plan, saying it will guarantee that Breeze flight attendants will be less experienced than those at other airlines.