Breeze Airways (MXY, Salt Lake City) has abandoned plans to launch as a charter operator first before venturing into scheduled flights, and will now debut as a scheduled operator in March 2021.

"The dynamic circumstances have caused Breeze to make adjustments to its plans, including pushing out its anticipated commencement date, launching with scheduled service rather than charter services, and postponing the delivery of A220-300 aircraft until August 2021," it said in an updated application to the US Department of Transportation for a certificate of public necessity and convenience.

The start-up reiterated, however, that its underlying business strategy has not changed, despite the delay. In fact, the withdrawal of major airlines from secondary markets has opened up even more opportunities for the nascent low-cost carrier which is backed by David Neeleman. As the founder of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras and JetBlue Airways, Neeleman holds a 35.8% stake in Breeze Aviation Group and is by far the company's largest shareholder.

According to Breeze Aviation's updated business plan, it plans to launch with an unspecified number of E190 and/or E195 aircraft.

"Breeze is in the process of finalizing leases with both Azul and Nordic Aviation Capital. Breeze anticipates these leases to be completed by early October and delivery of the first E195 from Azul by the end of October," the start-up said.

In January 2020, Azul announced that it would sub-lease fifty-three E195s to LOT Polish Airlines (LO, Warsaw Chopin) and Breeze, with the Polish carrier due to take 18 units with options for a further 14, and Breeze taking up to 28, depending on the options firmed by LOT. It is unclear if the Polish flag carrier, heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will uphold its part of the deal. LOT did not respond to ch-aviation's request for comment.

Breeze Aviation will use the Embraer regional jets to launch "scheduled service on three routes from a southeastern United States airport to four points northeast, and from another airport farther south to four points in the northeast, southeast and the southern plains". The carrier plans to enter four incremental airports in the south-eastern US in steps in the second quarter of 2021, July 2021, and October 2021.

The airline also said it would conduct in-house maintenance at Islip airport and heavy maintenance at Embraer's facility at Nashville Int'l.

Following the rescheduling of the deliveries, Breeze Aviation expects its first A220-300 to deliver in August 2021, the second one in September, the third in November. Thereafter, one A220 per month will arrive starting in January 2022. The airline has firm orders for 60 of the type from Airbus Canada.

Breeze Aviation had to file the supplemental application for its own authority after its deal to acquire defunct carrier Compass Airlines (United States of America)'s certificates fell through in August 2020.

The start-up also revealed in the filing that it had raised an additional USD83 million in August 2020, including USD75 million from Peterson Partner entities and USD8 million from key Breeze personnel as well as "friends and family".