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JetBlue founder brings new airline to Charleston International Airport

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Breeze Airways will begin its first flights from Charleston International Airport on May 27. (Photo/Provided)A new airline has landed at Charleston International Airport, and the company was established by JetBlue founder David Neeleman.

Breeze Airways is making its debut May 27 with its first takeoff coming out of Charleston International, the airport said in a news release.

The inaugural flight will connect Charleston with Tampa, Fla., and Hartford, Conn. More routes will be added every week through July until the carrier has reached 39 routes between 16 cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and East.

CEO Neelan said he created the airline to merge “technology with kindness.”

“Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares,” he said. “A staggering 90% of Breeze routes currently have no airline serving them nonstop.”

Breeze’s mission is to make flying simple, affordable and convenient. Introductory flights start at $39, and Neelan added that Breeze will not charge change or cancellation fees and offers up to 24-months of reusable flight credit through an app.

In total, Breeze Airways will add routes from Charleston to 11 markets.

  • Tampa, Fla. (starting May 27)
  • Hartford, Conn. (May 27)
  • Louisville, Ky. (May 28)
  • Norfolk, Va. (June 10)
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio (July 8)
  • New Orleans, La. (July 8)
  • Pittsburgh, Pa. (July 8)
  • Columbus, Ohio (July 8)
  • Richmond, Va. (July 8)
  • Huntsville, Ala. (July 15)
  • Providence, R.I. (July 22)

Elliott Summey, CEO of Charleston International Airport, thanked the airline’s decision to originate flights at the airport.

“We are honored that Breeze Airways has selected the Charleston region to be an integral part of the exciting launch of their vision to connect communities across the country in a new way,” he said. “The Breeze Airways value proposition of low-cost, nonstop service connecting underserved mid-sized cities will be quickly embraced by those traveling to and from the Charleston, South Carolina area.”

Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and chair of the Charleston County Aviation Authority, called the inclusion of Charleston International Airport an endorsement for the area.

“We are honored that a company that wants to be known as the world’s nicest airline would choose Charleston — an iconic destination acclaimed for its impressive hospitality and friendliness — to receive its inaugural flight on May 27,” she said.

Hill added that the timing couldn’t be more perfect to introduce Breeze as people are eager to travel again.

“To be a part of the Breeze network from its inception further validates the Charleston area’s influence and relevance,” she said. “We are excited to see Breeze’s long-term plan unfold for the region and are committed to ensuring this new partnership is an unparalleled success.”

Teddie Pryor, chair of Charleston County Council and a member of the Charleston Aviation Authority board, said the addition of 174 new jobs and $7 million in capital investment will make an impact on the region.

Breeze will operate 13 single-class Embraer aircraft this summer. The 10 E190 jets will seat 108 passengers while three E195 aircraft will have 118 seats. The airline has ordered 60 new Airbus A220 aircraft that will be delivered one per month for five years starting in October. 

Reach Teri Errico Griffis at 843-849-3144.

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