Breeze axes key New York-to-Los Angeles flight, temporarily suspends 26 routes

12 April 2023

New airline startup Breeze Airways is facing headwinds on some of its routes.

Most notably, the carrier will stop flying its transcontinental service between New York and Los Angeles beginning Sept. 4, as seen in Cirium schedules and confirmed by airline spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones.

Given the nearly six-hour flight time, the route required too many crew and aircraft resources. Also, the timing of the flights didn’t work well for Breeze’s operation, explained Edmondson-Jones.

Plenty of established airlines serve the New York-to-Los Angeles market. However, none have tried what Breeze thought would work: flying from Westchester County Airport (HPN) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

HPN is a breeze to navigate — I’ve never waited more than five minutes to clear security there. It also boasts a very affluent catchment area, which includes some parts of Connecticut that would otherwise require a two-hour car ride to get to the major New York City-area airports.

Westchester Airport. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Even without fancy lie-flat seats, Breeze thought it could convince enough locals to choose the airline over its competitors flying from larger and busier airports. Introductory fares started at just $149 for a one-way trip — not bad for a ride on one of the carrier’s comfortable Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The nicest seats (essentially domestic first-class recliners) started at just $249 each way.

Breeze founder and CEO David Neeleman thought he could turn White Plains, New York, into a major market for Breeze as he did 16 years ago for JetBlue Airways (another airline he founded). However, his ambitions seemed to have been a bit too high this time around.

In fact, the Los Angeles route was the only (somewhat) successful transcontinental market for the airline’s HPN operation. Though the flight commenced a few months later than initially planned, at least it’s been consistently served on a near-daily basis since November.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

The same can’t be said for Las Vegas and San Francisco — the two other cross-country routes that Breeze initially planned to launch from White Plains, as locals like to call the airport. Flights to San Francisco were cut before they even launched, while service to Vegas operated for just three weeks before also being slashed.

Aside from Breeze’s failed transcontinental experiment, the carrier is tweaking service from HPN to some southeastern cities. The airline will scrap service to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) at the end of May, and it’ll temporarily suspend flights to Norfolk International Airport (ORF) and Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) after Labor Day weekend.

While the cuts run deep in New York, Breeze is making a bunch of adjustments in other markets, too. The airline filed plans to turn 24 other routes into seasonal service that’ll end after Labor Day weekend, with the full list of affected flights at the end of this story.

CIRIUM

Edmondson-Jones told TPG that these are “seasonal shifts and the re-directing of resources” and promises that “basically all of the routes below will be back by/for summer 2024.” Breeze is a leisure-focused carrier, so the airline adjusts its schedules as needed to meet demand trends, he added.

How many of these routes actually return next summer is anyone’s guess — Breeze is only selling flights through Nov. 14, 2023, right now — but I, for one, will be counting.

Breeze’s 26 temporary route suspensions

Origin
Destination

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport (PVD).

CVG.
Richmond International Airport (RIC).

CVG.
John Wayne Airport (SNA).

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX).
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

JAX.
Norfolk International Airport (ORF).

JAX.
Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT).

JAX.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

JAX.
RIC.

John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH).
JAX.

CMH.
ORF.

CMH.
PVD.

CMH.
SNA.

Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP).
PIT.

ISP.
RIC.

LAX.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).

LAX.
ORF.

LAX.
PVD.

MSY.
Bradley International Airport (BDL).

MSY.
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV).

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF).
RDU.

PIT.
SNA.

PIT.
Portland International Jetport (PWM).

PWM.
ORF.

PVD.
RIC.

Westchester County Airport (HPN).
ORF.

HPN.
SAV.

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