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JetBlue founder bucks airline slump with startup planning October debut

JetBlue founder bucks airline slump with startup planning October debut

2 -min read
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2 -min read
Listen to this article

[TEXAS] Breeze Aviation Group, a startup airline planned by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, is seeking to buy a defunct carrier's operating certificate with an aim toward starting charter flights in October.

Breeze plans to start charter service Oct 15, according to a regulatory filing. If regulators approve, Breeze plans to begin scheduled service next May. It will base charter operations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which is where the failed Compass Airlines had its headquarters.

The purchase of the Compass certificate is subject to approval by the US Transportation Department. Breeze previously sought approval as a new carrier, but acquiring an existing license is typically a faster way to begin service. The filing, dated Thursday, didn't disclose the certificate's price.

Breeze has deferred the first deliveries of Airbus SE A220-300 jets by six months until August 2021. The carrier also is leasing 15 Embraer SA E190 jets from Nordic Aviation Capital, abandoning a previous plan to fly E190s acquired from Azul SA, a low-cost Brazilian airline founded by Mr Neeleman.

Breeze cited the dramatic drop in air travel stemming from the coronavirus pandemic as a reason for changing its leasing plans.

Compass, which flew regional flights for Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Group, shut down April 5 as the two major airlines slashed capacity because of the pandemic. Compass is owned by Trans States Holdings.

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