Breeze Airways eyes Airbus A220 for long-haul flights

Breeze Airways, a startup airline set to operate a fleet of Airbus A220 aircraft, has revealed plans to enter the long-haul market.

The company received its first A220 on October 26, 2021. In total, it plans to operate 80 airplanes.

Airbus A220, formerly known as Bombardier CSeries, is a narrow-body aircraft with a five-abreast cabin, designed as a successor to the larger aircraft in Bombardier’s CRJ regional jet family.

However, despite its regional roots, Breeze Airways plans to put the aircraft to use on long-haul routes.

According to ThePointsGuy, David Neeleman, founder of Breeze Airways, said: “The A220-300 is a game-changer for us as we add long-haul flights that can average five hours, including transcontinental service.”

 “The range of the aircraft is incredible. We’re looking to even take that one step further, <…>, we’d like to get closer to 4,000 [nautical miles],” Neeleman said at the unveiling ceremony, as quoted by Simple Flying.

According to Airbus, the A220-300 has a maximum range of 3,400 nautical miles (6,297 kilometers). 

Numerous airlines, such as Air Austral and AirBaltic, are flying their A220s on routes previously operated by larger airliners, such as Boeing 737 and 757. 

Breeze Airways’ A220-300 cabin is configured for 126 passengers, which is well below the  maximum of 160 passengers that the aircraft is designed to carry. 

Neelman did not specify the airline’s plans to extend the range of the aircraft, but it could involve reducing passenger capacity even further.

ACJ TwoTwenty, a business jet version of the A220, which was unveiled by Airbus in 2020, can fly to destinations up to 5,650 nautical miles (10,464 kilometers) away. However, this range is reached owing to significant modifications that have been made to the aircraft, including auxiliary fuel tanks.

In early 2019, the A220 received Transport Canada’s approval for 180 minutes ETOPS capability, which enables the aircraft to fly up to 180 minutes from the nearest diversion airport. In theory, this opens the possibility for the aircraft to perform transatlantic flights. 

The A220 is also the largest aircraft allowed to land at London City Airport (LCY), which, coupled with its ability to cross the Atlantic Ocean, could provide a lucrative destination for Breeze Airways.

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