Posted on: March 9, 2022, 01:48h.
Last updated on: March 9, 2022, 01:48h.
A new budget airline, called Breeze Airways, will fly to and from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas beginning later this year. Most of the recently announced new routes involve underserved destinations in the American South.
Flights are planned for airports in Charleston, S.C., Huntsville Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., Norfolk, Va., Richmond, Va., Fort Myers, Fla., and Syracuse, N.Y.
They begin as early as June 9, with more routes commencing over the summer.
Airline Veteran David Neeleman Is Founder
Utah-based, Breeze was founded by David Neeleman. The industry veteran is also the company’s CEO. Flights started last year.
“We generally always, 95 percent of the time, try and find routes where there’s people flying or that people would fly if the fares were better and the service was more convenient,” Neeleman told USA Today this week.
Examples are Syracuse, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Norfolk, and Richmond. “Those are all great cities but there’s no nonstop service to Las Vegas,” Neeleman said.
In addition to Las Vegas, other new West Coast destinations for Breeze include Los Angeles and San Francisco. On Tuesday, Breeze Airways said it will add, between May and August, 35 routes from 10 locations.
By August, Breeze will provide 77 routes in 28 US cities. Also, Breeze is adding more planes. By December, the number of the airline’s planes will jump from 13 to 30, USA Today reported.
The airlines also is getting the Airbus A220. Some 80 new A220s are on order, USA Today said. Thirteen will be sent to Breeze Airways sometime this year, the report adds.
Breeze initially was funded in 2018 with $100 million. Last year, it closed a $200 million funding round led by BlackRock and Knighthead Capital Management. Flights began last May.
Neeleman has a lot of experience launching airlines. Previously, Neeleman started Azul, JetBlue, Westjet, and Morris Air.
Breeze Airways flights are non-stop. Passengers also can rebook or cancel reservations up to 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure times without penalties.
Airlines nationally were hurt by flight cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of visitors to Las Vegas dropped. But in November, a report from UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research predicted Las Vegas visitation levels in 2022 will be closer to pre-pandemic levels. In 2023, they are predicted to increase further, the report adds.
Effective Dec. 14, 2021, McCarran International Airport was renamed Harry Reid International Airport to honor the former US Senator from Nevada. He died in December.