By Thomas Pallini
Breeze Airways is expanding on the East Coast with Long Island, New York and West Palm Beach, Florida as its newest destinations.
Long Island marks Breeze's fourth Northeast destination behind Hartford, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, and Providence, Rhode Island. Flights will use Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, New York, a suburban airport around 50 miles from New York City.
Breeze's entrance to the Long Island market comes as rival startup Avelo Airlines just opened a new East Coast base in New Haven, Connecticut.
Avelo will soon grow to six routes from Tweed-New Haven Airport, a comparable distance from New York City as MacArthur Airport, to Floridian destinations with plans to serve a not-yet-announced seventh city in the near future.
Small airports like MacArthur and New Haven have been the big winners in the startup airline war of 2021, giving travelers more non-stop options and alternatives to major airlines. Breeze just launched in May with bases in Norfolk, Charleston, New Orleans, and Tampa, Florida, with Insider taking the airline's first-ever flight.
"Breeze's business model is to add 'nice, new nonstop' flights on routes where only connecting service is offered by other carriers," David Neeleman, Breeze's founder and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Long Island has been a historically tricky destination for ultra-low-cost carriers despite MacArthur Airport's convenience compared to nearby international airports and its proximity to New York City. Allegiant Air and Spirit Airlines have both tried and failed to serve the region through MacArthur and have since left for airports closer to Manhattan such as LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International.
Frontier has found success on Long Island with 8 routes to cities across the Southeast from Atlanta to Miami. Its most popular route, based on daily frequencies, is between Long Island and Orlando, Florida, on which as many as three flights will operate on a given day in competition with Southwest Airlines.
Long Island is a natural destination for Breeze as the airline has a maintenance base at MacArthur Airport, at which maintenance is performed on the Embraer E190/195 aircraft that will be serving the routes.
If Long Island proves to be successful for Breeze, the future air service opportunities could be endless as not many cities outside of Florida are served by rival airlines. Long Island could also be a jumping-off point for flights to Europe with Breeze's new Airbus A220-300 aircraft.
The cost-saving economics of the A220 could also open the door to destinations outside of the East Coast. Frontier's past attempts to serve Midwestern and Rocky Mountain destinations including Denver, Detroit, and Chicago, have all ended in those routes being terminated.
But as Long Island has experienced in the past, ultra-low-cost carriers tend not to stay long in unprofitable markets and Breeze could be quick to leave if market conditions aren't suitable.
To the south, Breeze will also launch West Palm Beach, Florida as a new destination with six new routes. West Palm Beach is Breeze's second Florida destination behind Tampa and has been a friendly destination to ultra-low-cost airlines including Allegiant, Spirit, Frontier, and Sun Country Airlines.
Breeze will similarly not directly compete with any airline on its new routes from West Palm Beach. Introductory fares on routes to and from both cities will vary between $39 and $59.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider
Photo: Thomas Pallini/Insider