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New airline Breeze Airways with $39 fares, no middle seats, and nonstop flights to smaller cities, will take off on May 27

Breeze Airways, a new low-cost carrier founded by the founder of JetBlue, will launch on May 27 with flights primarily in the Southeast.

Breeze Airways, a new low-cost carrier founded by the founder of JetBlue, will launch on May 27 with flights primarily in the Southeast.

The airline would initially fly to and from four airports: Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; New Orleans; and Norfolk, Virginia. Its launch was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted travel.

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Tampa-Charleston, Tampa-Louisville, Kentucky, Charleston-Hartford, Connecticut, Charleston-Tampa, and Charleston-Louisville are the first flights, which will begin in late May in time for Memorial Day travel.

Breeze would add more flights in June and July, giving the airline a total of 39 nonstop routes between 16 cities as far east as Providence, Rhode Island, and as far west as San Antonio, Texas this summer.

Tickets start at $39 each way on all routes and go on sale today on the airline’s website. Because of the rebound in travel and Breeze’s reduced flight schedule, these are introductory prices, and the cheapest seats would be limited. The airline does not provide regular service on any routes, with the maximum frequency being four days a week.

Breeze is the second airline in the United States to begin operations during the pandemic

Breeze will be the second US airline to operate this year, following Avelo Airlines, which began operations in late April.

Breeze CEO David Neeleman, who operated airlines in South America after leaving JetBlue more than a decade ago, believes there is an untapped demand for nonstop flights between small cities in the United States.

The airline’s informal mantra: “We’ll get you there twice as fast for half the price.”

If that sounds a lot like budget airline Allegiant, it’s by design. Neeleman calls Allegiant’s track record of luring travelers who would otherwise drive or connect through a major airline’s hub “amazing.” (Avelo is Allegiant-esque, too, its founder the airline’s former president.)

Breeze Airways flights for summer 2021 to and from Tampa, Charleston, New Orleans and Norfolk

Tampa, Florida to and from, and service start date:

  • Charleston, South Carolina: May 27
  • Louisville, Kentucky: May 28
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma: June 4
  • Norfolk, Virginia: June 10
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas: June 17
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio: June 26
  • Oklahoma City: July 1
  • Columbus, Ohio: July 3
  • Huntsville, Alabama: July 22
  • Richmond, Virginia: July 22

Charleston, South Carolina to and from, with start date:

  • Hartford, Connecticut: May 27
  • Tampa, Florida: May 27
  • Louisville, Kentucky: May 28
  • Norfolk, Virginia: June 10
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio: July 8
  • Columbus, Ohio: July 8
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: July 8
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 8
  • Richmond, Virginia: July 8
  • Huntsville, Alabama: July 15
  • Providence, Rhode Island: July 22

New Orleans to and from, with start date:

  • Charleston, South Carolina: July 8
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio: July 15
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas: July 15
  • Huntsville, Alabama: July 15
  • Louisville, Kentucky: July 15
  • Norfolk, Virginia: July 15
  • Oklahoma City: July 15
  • Richmond, Virginia: July 15
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma, July 15
  • Columbus, Ohio: July 16

Norfolk, Virginia, to and from, with start date:

  • Charleston, South Carolina: June 10
  • Tampa: June 10
  • New Orleans, Louisiana: July 15
  • Columbus, Ohio: July 22
  • Hartford, Connecticut: July 22 
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: July 22
  • Providence, Rhode Island: July 29

Other new Breeze flights starting in July 

  • San Antonio-Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas: July 15
  • San Antonio-Oklahoma City: July 15
  • San Antonio-Tulsa: July 15
  • Hartford-Columbus: July 22
  • Hartford-Pittsburgh: July 22
  • Providence-Pittsburgh: July 29

Shorter flights are available now, with longer routes coming later this year

Breeze’s latest flights are often under two hours long.

In the fall, the airline expects to announce additional, longer flights between larger cities using the Airbus 220.

It has placed an order for 60 of the planes but has not stated how many seats will be available. Unlike Breeze’s initial Embraer regional jet flights, those flights will have business class and Wi-Fi.

8 things to know about Breeze Airways

► No middle seats, at least initially. There are no middle seats on its Embraer regional jets.

► Bag fees are $20 whether you carry on or check. (Passengers are allowed one free personal item that fits underneath the seat, the practice at other low-cost airlines.)

►  Advance seat assignments start at $10. Families will not be charged to sit together, the airline says.

► There’s no Wi-Fi, but passengers will be able to stream 150 free TV shows (not live TV as on JetBlue) on their personal devices from an inflight entertainment system. Wi-Fi and business class will be offered on future Breeze flights operated with a bigger plane.

► Kind bars and Utz snacks are on the inflight menu.

► Some of its flight attendants are Utah college students under a partnership with Utah Valley University. The airline had planned to hire all flight attendants this way but scrapped that plan recently due to low interest.

► The airline’s initial name was Moxy.

► The airline’s founder, Neeleman, also founded or co-founded Morris Air, (which was purchased by Southwest Airlines); JetBlue; WestJet;and Azul, a Brazilian carrier.

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