- Breeze Airways just took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 jet, five months after the airline launched.
- The A220-300 can fly 3,450 nautical miles, opening up transcontinental flights and potential European service.
- New premium seats will be found onboard with in-seat power also available for all passengers.
One of America’s newest airlines is celebrating its five-month anniversary with a brand-new plane.
Breeze Airways took delivery of its first Airbus A220-300 on Tuesday as part of an 80-aircraft order that will bring the airline to new heights and expand its reach well beyond the US. Built in Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama facility, the A220 in Breeze’s configuration boasts features including mood lighting, in-flight WiFi, in-seat power with 110v AC outlets and USB charging ports at every seat, and the largest cabin in its aircraft class.
The Canadian jet type offers Breeze the perfect mix of economics and performance capabilities that will power a low-cost, long-haul route structure. A published range of 3,450 nautical miles for the larger A220 variant gives Breeze full reign over the Lower 48, with the ability to fly non-stop between any two cities between America’s coasts, and then some.
A transatlantic expansion is also in the works as Breeze is looking at secondary cities across the Northeast as potential stepping stones for flights to Europe. Destinations in South America may also be served from the Southeast and Hawaii from the West Coast thanks to the new aircraft’s impressive capabilities, while the Embraer E190/E195 fleet that launched Breeze in May will stick to North America.
And Breeze is already pressing Airbus to give the aircraft 4,000 nautical miles of range by adding auxiliary fuel tanks. The extra 600 nautical miles would allow for long-haul international flights from cities deeper into the US and open up Central Europe and South America flights from the East Coast.
Inside the glitzy aircraft
Airbus’ smallest jet is intended to serve the 100-150-seat aircraft market and the larger Dash 300 variant can actually seat up to 160. Breeze showed off a low-density configuration during the delivery ceremony with just 126 seats across two cabins: a premium class and an economy class.
In that configuration, a total of 36 premium seats in the airline’s version of business class will stretch 13 rows, all the way back to the center of the aircraft.
Customers booking a “nicest” fare will have complimentary access to the seats, which boast 20.5 inches (53cm) of width and 39 inches (99cm) of pitch, as well as an allowance for one carry-on bag and two checked bags, complimentary drinks and snacks onboard, priority boarding, and complimentary in-flight WiFi.
Two rows will offer 10 extra-legroom seats featuring 33 inches (84cm) of pitch and 18.8 inches (48cm) of width. They’ll be available complimentary for those booking “nicer” fares that will also include a complimentary carry-on and checked bag, priority boarding, and a complimentary drink and snack.
The remaining 80 seats will be standard economy seats, available for those booking “nice” fares for an additional fee or automatically assigned at check-in. These seats also feature 18.8 inches (48cm) of width with between 30 and 31 inches (79cm) of pitch, offering more space than some traditional airlines do in economy class
Breeze, however, can add and reduce the number of seats in a given class of service based on demand. Neeleman is also hinting at offering lie-flat seats on the aircraft that would provide more comfort on long-haul flights.
The A220 offers a 2-3 seating configuration in economy class, offering passengers a variety of choices when selecting a seat. A downside, however, is that it also offers middle seats, meaning passengers have more of a reason to pre-purchase seat assignments.
Onboard WiFi will enable internet browsing and also streaming entertainment including movies and television shows.
Pilots flying the Airbus A220 can expect a lifestyle similar to those at more established airlines. Instead of flying “out and back” in a single day, the A220 will fly lengthier routes and trips that will often require overnight stays, as the airline told Insider in April.
Breeze customers won’t be flying on the plane until the second quarter of 2022, once more aircraft have been delivered. Now begins the long process towards certifying the aircraft to fly passengers, as well as training crew to fly, service, and maintain the airline’s new flagship.