Breeze Airways (MX, Salt Lake City) has converted a further ten options for A220-300s, increasing the total orderbook for the type directly from Airbus Canada to 90 units. By the end of 2024, the airline plans to operate all of its scheduled routes with the A220s.

"Breeze's business model is to bring air service to underserved markets across the US so the vast majority of our routes have no nonstop competition. And the economics of the A220 are integral to that success, which enables thin routes to be profitable," Founder and Chief Executive David Neeleman said during a press conference. "It's a great time to exercise these options. Airbus is so sold out going forward, you have to exercise options to get in line."

All 90 firm-ordered aircraft are scheduled to deliver by the end of 2028. The ch-aviation fleets module shows that Breeze Airways has so far taken twenty-one A220-300s. Neeleman said that by the end of 2024, the carrier expects to have 32 aircraft of the type.

"We have 30 more options to go and are fully anticipating exercising those as well," he added and stressed that the airline had no problems financing the aircraft seen as a "very valuable asset".

Asked about the performance of Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engines on the A220s, Neeleman conceded that as "a new generation engine, obviously it has its technical challenges".

"We're working really closely with Pratt & Whitney, we've come up with some creative solutions to be able to add additional reserve engines to our spare fleet. Certainly, that will be something we have to be focused on intently for the next few years as they continue to push through modifications on these engines to make them stay on wing longer," he said.

As Breeze Airways' fleet of A220 grows, the type will fully replace all E190s and E195s on scheduled routes. The ch-aviation capacities module shows that currently around 17% of the airline's total weekly scheduled capacity is flown on the Embraer aircraft.

"E-Jets that we have will be used for charters. We do a significant amount of charter work. It was a decision that we made looking at the difference in the NPS scores [for the two aircraft types], looking at the difference in having a first-class cabin [on the A220s], it made all the sense in the world to go 100% of our scheduled service with the A220s," Neeleman explained.

However, despite these transition plans, Breeze will not be retiring the E-Jets anytime soon. It currently operates ten E190s and six E195s and will retain them at least until 2026. Neeleman stressed they were "great charter airplanes" for the carrier's extensive sports charter programme. Eventually, charter flying could also transition to the A220s, but for now there are no such plans.

Breeze Airways launched with second-hand E-Jets before adding its first A220.

The airline, which is focused on serving secondary and tertiary cities across the United States with limited connectivity by mainline carriers, is slowly working its way towards the launch of international routes. Short of disclosing any specific timeline, Neeleman said that the certification process with the FAA was ongoing.

"There's a first step where you can do international charters, and I think that will be our first step. And then we'll move into the international schedule service. That will really expand our business because there are some great destinations out there that our guests would love to go to," Neeleman said.