Tucked away in Breeze Airways’ announcement of tickets going on sale yesterday, the airline is moving forward with a premium cabin onboard its Airbus A220s. This cabin will be similar to a domestic first class product, and it will be one to watch as Breeze grows its route network and starts introducing the A220 into service.
Breeze plots an A220 premium cabin
The first Airbus A220-300 will arrive at Breeze Airways starting in October. The airline will be taking one per month for five years to hit a total of 60 jets. The A220s will include standard economy at the back of the plane in a 2-3 configuration, which is standard for the Airbus A220.
However, Breeze Airways is plotting to put a premium cabin on the jets at the front of the plane. This cabin, called the “Nicest” fare, will be in a 2-2 configuration. This sounds very similar to what most airlines offer as a domestic first class product, including onboard the Airbus A220s.
What could this cabin be like?
Aside from the configuration, Breeze Airways has been quiet about what other perks passengers can expect when booking a fare in this cabin. There are a few options for how this product could look and act in the market.
Breeze Airways is positioning itself as an ultra-low-cost carrier. Everything from seat selection to carry-on bags comes at a cost on top of the base fare. So, it may seem odd that Breeze is targeting a premium cabin.
However, it would not be entirely revolutionary. Spirit Airlines, another major ultra-low-cost carrier, offers a product called the “Big Front Seat.” This product is essentially a domestic first class seat at the front of the plane in a 2-2 configuration.
With Spirit’s product, passengers get a larger seat. There are no extras like free food or drink, nor are there any free bags or priority boarding. However, passengers do get extra room to stretch out with no middle seat, which can be a big win if you cannot select a seat in an exit row.
Breeze Airways may target a similar style of product on its aircraft. The airline has not outlined any details about meal services onboard its aircraft. The CEO of Breeze Airways, David Neeleman, is previously known for getting JetBlue up and running. In JetBlue’s premium Mint cabin, passengers can delight in inflight dining. So, it would not necessarily be out of left field if Breeze decided to spice up the premium experience with dining.
The aircraft will run on flights longer than roughly two hours, which is about when airlines start to offer premium cabin dining onboard. The Airbus A220s can also sustain hot dining, assuming Breeze opts to put ovens onboard the jets.
What will be interesting to see is how much of a difference Breeze plots between its cabin experiences. If the back is filled with leisure-oriented customers paying base fares and indulging in a no-frills experience and the front is targeting higher-end customers and business travelers, then this will be an interesting mix of passengers onboard an aircraft.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.
On the road to lie-flats?
Breeze Airways has discussed opportunities to add a lie-flat product onboard its Airbus A220s. Lie-flats are a huge decision for an airline, especially on an aircraft the size of the Airbus A220, given that they take up a fair bit of space.
The Airbus A220 is smaller than the Airbus A321 or Boeing 757, typically the smallest commercial aircraft flying with lie-flats onboard. Even in those cases, lie-flats are on very particular jets serving particular routes. They can commonly be found on transcontinental routes in the US or else operating flights to Europe.
Lie-flats will certainly be a few years away, at least. Breeze Airways needs to let its route map mature and grow a name presence to offer such a product onboard. Moreover, as the carrier targets point-to-point, nonstop itineraries, this limits the market for lie-flats significantly. Only a small handful of the 60 jets it has on order are likely to actually come with lie-flats.
What do you think about Breeze’s plans for a premium cabin onboard the Airbus A220s? Let us know in the comments!