Breeze Airways, the low-cost airline which started flying last spring, said Wednesday that it will add a direct flight to Savannah, Georgia, from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in the fall.
The budget carrier also said it will add in June one-stop flights from New Orleans to Westchester County Airport in New York, which is about 35 miles north of Manhattan.
The new Breeze flight brings to nine the number of direct routes the airline operates from New Orleans.
Rolling out new roads
Breeze has been rolling out new routes and making various tweaks to flights, both adding and cutting, since it began flying 10 months ago. The latest New Orleans flights come as part of an announcement that Breeze would begin flying eight direct routes from Westchester.
The New Orleans-to-Savannah flights are scheduled to begin on September 9 and run on Mondays and Fridays, starting at $59 each way.
The first one-stop flights from New Orleans to Westchester will start on June 30 and will be via Jacksonville, Florida. Flyers will be able to stay on the same plane and fly onto Westchester on the Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday flights. From September 9, Breeze will also offer one-stop flights to Westchester on Monday and Friday via Savannah.
Breeze was created by Neeleman with the objective of flying routes that didn’t previously exist, linking smaller market airports with destination cities. New Orleans was one of the four original hub cities, together with Tampa; Charleston, South Carolina; and Norfolk, Virginia.
Passenger traffic on the up
The airline was launched while the coronavirus pandemic was still curbing travel and it has added routes through the past year even while soaring jet fuel prices has crimped the outlook for travel recovery.
The cost of jet fuel, which accounts for about 25% of an airline’s expenses, have more than doubled over the past year, according to the International Air Transport Association, a trade body.
Passenger traffic at Louis Armstrong airport had doubled through January, the latest available numbers, according to the airport’s data. Breeze Airways carried about 4,200 passengers that month, which was a market share of about 1.2%.
Breeze can receive a grant of up to $2.3 million over 10 years from the state of Louisiana, as well as tax breaks on its jobs and training programs, depending on employment levels. It currently employs about 50 at the airport, with a target to reach 260.
Neeleman said New Orleans is on track as one of the airline’s four hubs.
“The city has had some tough times between hurricanes and Covid impacting major events in the last year or so,” he said via email. “But demand continues to be strong and we’re happy to keep adding new routes and flights as demand grows.”