JetBlue co-founder says new Utah-based project Breeze Airways will be ‘world’s nicest airline’

(Breeze Airways via CNN)



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SALT LAKE CITY — JetBlue co-founder David Neeleman released new details of his new Utah-based project, which he said will be the “world’s nicest airline” once it’s up and running later this year.

"We brought humanity back to the airline industry with JetBlue. Today, we're excited to introduce plans for 'the world's nicest airline,’” he said, according to CNN.

KSL.com reported back in December that Neeleman was creating a new Utah-based airline service focused on midsize markets in the country. The airline plans to create 369 jobs over the next five years, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development said. GOED officials project the airline will generate $3.2 million in capital investment, $128.9 million in wages, and $5.41 million in tax revenue over a five-year agreement between the business and the state.

However, details about operations, as well as an official name and logo were finally released Friday.

The company is leasing 30 Embraer 195 aircraft from Azul — another airline Neeleman started — that are expected to be delivered starting in May, AirInsight reported Friday. The company also ordered 60 Airbus 220-300 aircraft expected to be delivered beginning next year.

The Embraer planes will be used for smaller-sized markets while the Airbus aircraft will be used for midsize cities that don’t have non-stop service, CNN reported.

The company has not yet announced which cities it will service. However, during a speech at Silicon Slopes Tech Summit in Salt Lake City last week, Neeleman said the company is aiming to fly where other airlines don't.

"There'll be places that we fly on this airline that not anyone else flies," he said, during the summit. "We have over 1,000 routes, 150 airports that we're looking at."

Breeze is currently applying for an airline operating certificate with the Federal Aviation Administration but is aiming to begin service sometime in 2020, AirInsight also reported.

Neeleman is perhaps best known for co-creating JetBlue; however, Breeze is his fifth airline startup and first based in Utah since Morris Air was sold to Southwest in the 1990s.

During his speech at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, he opened up about other innovations of his newest project. He said the company hired Dee Evans to head up technology efforts for the company.

"Our aspirational goal is to build a super app that you can do all of your things on the super app. ... Now, there's a lot of airlines doing this — Delta has a great app —but we want full functionality," Neeleman said at the conference.

He explained that included plans to tie in shared-economy companies like Airbnb to make it easier to bundle all the aspects of travel into one spot.

"It's all going to be enabled by technology," Neeleman said. "The technology that comes from the shared economy, from being able to have either an Airbnb or a Vrbo or any place together with a super app that allows you to book your flight, it will all be combined into one to be able to offer a whole different experience."

The company is currently hiring pilots, guest services specialists, as well as several other positions. People can apply for positions on its website.

Contributing: Liesl Nielsen, KSL.com

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