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David Neeleman’s Breeze airline launch: is 2020 feasible?

Anything that David Neelemen does in the aviation industry will inevitably attract attention. One of the more interesting developments in US aviation during recent years has been his plans to launch a new airline in the country, focusing on secondary markets. Mr Neeleman’s re-entry into the US domestic market will be very different from when he and his management team launched JetBlue, which made its maiden flight in Feb-2000. 

Initially, the new carrier aimed to launch in 2021, but reports surfaced in late 2019 that the airline could accelerate its launch to 2020 with Embraer jets from Azul, of which Mr Neeleman is chairman of the board. So far, the airline has only announced that Salt Lake City will serve as its headquarters, and company executives are keeping specific network plans under wraps.

The new operators may not have a lot of direct competition on their routes but overall, Mr Neeleman and his management team will launch in a much healthier US aviation industry than when JetBlue made its debut nearly 20 years ago. 

But the foundations of the strategy are equally important: the revolutionary potential role of the new small narrowbody aircraft now coming into the market, with the capability to provide longer haul and low seat cost (and low emissions) on very small city pairs.

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