Greater New Orleans, Inc. is thrilled to welcome Breeze Airways to New Orleans, providing nonstop flights to 10 destinations, and, moreover, with MSY serving as an operations base for the airline.
In Spring 2019, GNO, Inc. began to work with airport leadership to present New Orleans as an ideal location for David Neeleman’s new airline. GNO, Inc. provided regional market data, produced a custom sales video, and developed a dedicated website to help attract not only new service, but also significant job creation through the establishment of an operations base.
The 10 cities Breeze will launch service to include: Charleston, SC (starting July 8); Akron/Canton, OH (July 15); Bentonville/Fayetteville, AR (July 15); Huntsville, AL (July 15); Louisville, KY (July 15); Norfolk, VA (July 15); Oklahoma, OK (July 15); Richmond, VA (July 15); Tulsa, OK (July 15); and Columbus, OH (July 16). All cities are new destinations for MSY, with the exception of Louisville, KY and Columbus, OH, which are currently underserved destinations.
With New Orleans as an operations base for the airline, Breeze Airways will make a capital investment of $6.6 million at MSY and will create 261 new direct jobs, with an average salary of $65,000, plus benefits. Flight crews, maintenance staff and aircraft will be based in New Orleans. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in 877 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 1,138 new jobs in the New Orleans area.
“Louis Armstrong International Airport is one of our most important economic development assets, said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “MSY is the #3 fastest growing airport in America, and Breeze will accelerate this growth. Moreover, Breeze will create hundreds of high-quality service and mechanical jobs for Greater New Orleans. We are proud to be part of this win for the airport and region, and look forward to supporting Breeze via connections to the business community, and support for their workforce training need via our award-winning GNOu program.”
“Breeze Airways is launching a significant amount of new service at MSY because they recognize the strength and vitality of the market in the Greater New Orleans Region,” said Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation for MSY. “I’m so grateful to Greater New Orleans, Inc. and our economic development and tourism industry partners who played key roles in positioning New Orleans as an attractive option for this new airline to do business. These cooperative efforts were very helpful as the Airport team worked with Breeze to finalize plans to launch an operations base in New Orleans.”
“Our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is putting New Orleans on the best track to be one of the safest places to live and visit,” said Mayor Cantrell. “This connection to new and more cities shows that not only are we a safe place to visit, but the right place to do business. With the expansion and investment from Breeze Airways, MSY will continue to serve as a prominent gateway and aviation hub for the state and the Gulf South region.”
“As we emerge from the pandemic, we understand full well the amount of pent-up excitement to travel once more, both for excited tourists to experience our unique and welcoming culture, as well as for Louisiana residents to explore new destinations,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “Today, I am proud to announce new destination offerings, courtesy of our latest airline partner, Breeze Airways. In addition to these exciting routes, Breeze Airways is also creating great new opportunities for our people as they establish their maintenance base at MSY. We welcome Breeze Airways and wish them success here in New Orleans and beyond.”
In addition to the New Orleans service, Breeze debuted its full network today, which includes 39 nonstop routes between 16 cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and Eastern US. Breeze is Mr. Neeleman’s fifth airline start-up, after JetBlue, Brazil’s Azul, Canada’s WestJet, and Utah-based Morris Air, which was later purchased by Southwest Airlines. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, UT, Breeze will focus most flights from four main airports: New Orleans, LA; Tampa, FL; Charleston, SC; and Norfolk, VA.