The best-financed airline startup in history continues to expand its expectations. Breeze Airways announced today plans to add another 20 A220-300s to its fleet, bringing the order commitment to 80 of the type.
With the order Breeze takes the top spot in A220-300 fleet size, besting JetBlue’s 70 planned and Air France’s 60. Delta Air Lines remains the largest A220 customer with a mix of 95 total frames currently expected in service.
The news comes as the company’s first A220-300 emerged from the paint shop in Mobile. Delivery of that first plane is expected later this year.
Breeze launched operations in May 2021 with a fleet of leased Embraer E190 and E195s. Those planes operate direct routes between secondary markets. And they helped Breeze enter service earlier than would have otherwise been possible. But the A220s will define the carrier’s future.
Company executives have not been shy in describing those plans. Longer routes will join the network. And more service will be daily rather than the 2-4x weekly seen in the initial markets.
In-flight connectivity is planned, upgrading from the current streaming IFE offering. Plus, a real premium cabin on board, though no lie-flat seats. At least not yet.
Read More: Taking off: The Breeze Airways era begins
But Breeze also managed to keep many of the specifics – including route or even hub/base specifics – private.
Today’s release does fill in one additional detail: Breeze targets Q2 2022 for commercial operations with its A220 fleet.
Given a planned delivery pace of one per month the carrier should have at least 5 frames on property by then. Similar to the E190 network launch, the slightly larger fleet enables multiple routes to launch simultaneously.
That proved operationally challenging for the carrier over the summer; hopefully it runs more smoothly with the A220s.
Read More: Breeze banks $200 million to fuel growth
The company recently secured an additional $200 million in financing, but don’t expect too much of that to go directly into Airbus‘s coffers.
The initial deliveries will we financed through sale/leaseback transactions. In November 2019 GECAS agreed to finance 9 of the first 18. Voyager announced a deal in October 2020 to finance five more of the early deliveries.
With the expanded order book deliveries should stretch more than six years.
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