The Name Change Explained:Breezin’ Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman’s New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - From Moxy to Breeze: The Backstory
David Neeleman is no stranger to the skies. As the founder of JetBlue and Azul Airlines, the serial entrepreneur has made his mark by focusing on customer service and affordability. Still, Neeleman wasn't done innovating.
In 2017, he announced plans for Moxy, a new U.S. airline aiming to shake up air travel. Yet as launch day approached in 2020, Neeleman decided a name change was in order. And so, Breeze Airways was born.
The switch from Moxy to Breeze was about more than just branding. For Neeleman, it reflected a clearer vision and identity for his latest venture. As he put it, "A breeze conjures up all the right thoughts and feelings for our new airline...a refreshing breeze captures the spirit of what we want to accomplish."
There's no question that 'breeze' evokes pleasant associations - lightness, relaxation, comfort. It's an apt name for an airline looking to make air travel smoother. Moxy, while spirited, sounded more feisty than inviting.
According to Neeleman, the rebrand was also about matching the product to the name. With Breeze, he aims to strip out the hassle and anxiety of air travel. No middle seats, easy self-service options, and kindness from employees - that's the breeze Neeleman wants customers to feel.
The switch did raise some eyebrows, though. Last-minute name changes can signal trouble, and Breeze was looking at some fierce headwinds. The global pandemic had decimated air travel demand, and plenty of competitors saw opportunity in the leisure market.
But Neeleman and team felt good about the pivot. Breeze better captured the experience they wanted to create. And the new brand came to life quickly - logo, website, plane exteriors. This was clearly more than a cosmetic refresh.
For Neeleman, building fresh, fun brands is familiar territory. He spearheaded the creation of Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul, each with a distinct identity. As he puts it, "Every time I’ve started an airline, I’ve tried to bring something new to the industry."
Breeze feels like the ultimate expression of Neeleman's vision. The name reflects the pared-down flying experience he's going for. And the brand personality - playful, cheerful, inexpensive but not cheap - aims to make economy travel truly enjoyable again.
It's a bold promise and Breeze has its work cut out delivering. But Neeleman has built an avid following by focusing on customer happiness and empathy. And the name Breeze neatly encapsulates the friendly, hassle-free experience he's selling.
What else is in this post?
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - From Moxy to Breeze: The Backstory
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Neeleman's Vision for Breeze Airways
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Route Map: Where Breeze Plans to Fly
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - The Nuts and Bolts: Breeze's Fleet and Features
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Perks and Packages for Breeze Flyers
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Staffing Up: Building the Breeze Team
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Competition in the Skies: Who Else is Targeting Leisure Travelers
- The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - The Travel Industry Reacts: Expectations for Breeze
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Neeleman's Vision for Breeze Airways
With Breeze Airways, David Neeleman aims to reinvent economy class and bring back the joy of flying. For many, air travel has become a dreaded experience - endless fees, cramped seats, and indifferent staff. Neeleman sees an opportunity to fix that by focusing on customerr happiness and stripping away the pain points.
On Breeze flights, you can expect seats with at least 30 inches of legroom, no middle seats, and flight attendants selected for kindness. Fares start at just $39 one-way, with few add-on fees. Perks like free wifi, streaming entertainment, and snacks will come standard too. As Neeleman puts it, "We want flying to be fun again and give people the things they value most."
Central to the vision is getting back to basics. For decades, legacy airlines have tacked on fees and slashed amenities in a race to the bottom. Neeleman aims to simplify and provide a consistent, high-quality product. No confusing fare classes or upcharges - Breeze seeks to be radically transparent.
Many fliers are fed up with poor service and nickel-and-diming from big airlines. Neeleman sees huge potential to win over disgruntled travelers with a more thoughtful approach. Friendly policies like flexible cancellations, family seating, and allowing two free carry-on bags aim to relieve the anxiety around flying.
Neeleman also wants to empower employees and create a vibrant corporate culture. At JetBlue, he pioneered new ways to engage staff and provide advancement opportunities. At Breeze, he's promoting open communication, causal dress, and profit-sharing. The idea is happy crew members lead to happy fliers.
Technologically, Breeze wants to make things simple via automation and self-service. Flights can be booked directly on their app and website with no fees. You can pick your own seat, add bags, and change flights yourself online. Touchless entry, biometrics, and automatic rebooking during irregular operations will help smooth out the journey.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Route Map: Where Breeze Plans to Fly
Breeze’s route map will determine whether the airline sinks or soars. Neeleman knows success hinges on serving the right markets with the right frequencies. He’s carefully hand-picked underserved routes where Breeze can stimulate demand by lowering fares. Avoiding intense competition will also be key, especially as a new entrant. So where exactly does Breeze plan to fly?
Initially, Breeze is focused on routes in the Southeast, Midwest, and West Coast. These regions feature large leisure markets and major population centers. Many city pairs lack nonstop service, giving Breeze opportunities to be the only airline flying point-to-point. For example, Breeze will launch Columbus, OH to Tulsa, OK flights in May 2022. No other airline connects those cities nonstop today.
Breeze’s first flights connected Charleston, SC with Hartford, CT, Norfolk, VA, Pittsburgh, PA, Richmond, VA and Tampa, FL. Other early routes include Louisville, KY to New Orleans, LA. Breeze is targeting trips under two hours, not transcontinental hauls. The goal is to offer quick, affordable getaways versus long-haul travel.
Connecting mid-size markets unlocks potential for Breeze. These city pairs often get overlooked, as legacy airlines focus on big hubs. Breeze can stimulate new origin-destination demand by being the sole operator. And airports in these secondary cities offer incentives for added service. It’s a win-win formula.
Dozens more routes are slated to launch through summer 2022. Breeze will continue stitching together underserved markets across its geography. The network spans from Burbank, CA to Norfolk, VA initially. Look for service to debut in unserved routes connecting Leesburg, VA, Huntsville, AL, Oklahoma City, OK and many others.
Breeze’s route planning philosophy is unique. Instead of just competing on the biggest routes, they’ve identified city pairs forgotten by competitors. Avoiding head-to-head matches with Southwest, American and others is intentional. Breeze wants to be the only affordable, nonstop option in their markets.
This careful route analysis has allowed Breeze to stimulate demand and achieve impressive load factors of over 80% quickly. Travelers have flocked to Breeze for direct flights on overlooked routes. Their load factor consistently beats competitors, proving neglected city pairs represent big opportunities.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - The Nuts and Bolts: Breeze's Fleet and Features
Breeze’s fleet and onboard features will define the passenger experience. Neeleman obsesses over both hardware and software - the planes and the product inside. He believes superior comfort and service for the price will be Breeze's edge. So how exactly does Breeze aim to wow customers?
The Breeze fleet will consist entirely of Airbus A220 and Embraer E190/E195 aircraft. These planes strike the ideal balance between comfort and efficiency. With 108-136 seats, they’re right-sized for Breeze’s markets. Maintenance and operating costs are also favorable.
For passengers, both jet types provide a comfortable ride. The A220 features extra large windows and scaled seating with additional width. The E-Jets have wider seats than comparable regional jets. Neither aircraft has dreaded middle seats. For Breeze, avoiding that cramped row was non-negotiable.
Inside the cabin, Breeze focused on creating an upbeat, contemporary vibe. With no first class to design, they developed a uniform product enhancing every seat. Details like custom leather headrests, and wool-blend fabrics make economy feel elevated. The mood lighting was also meticulously planned to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Tech-forward amenities abound, too. Every seat gets access to free high-speed wi-fi and 110v power outlets for device charging. Overhead bins were enlarged to easily accommodate full-size carry-on bags. These creature comforts aren’t typical of low-cost competitors.
Breeze’s seats will pitch around 31 inches on the A220 and 30 inches on the E190 - generous legroom for short hops. Seat width ranges from 18.5 to 19 inches, allowing a bit more shoulder space. Together, the generous pitch and width enable passengers to sit back and relax. You won’t have to fight for elbow room.
Neeleman wants economy air travel to feel special again through thoughtful amenities. First flights feature a branded cake for passengers. Kids get logbooks and aviation-themed activity books. Bringing back little joys that put a smile on faces differentiates Breeze.
Streaming inflight entertainment to your own device will come compliments of Breeze. Movies, TV shows, games, and magazines are all on the menu. There are even “nicecations” videos featuring tranquil scenes to set the mood. You can curate your entire experience via their app.
Complimentary snacks and drinks will also help make that short flight zip by. We’re talking local, artisanal treats like fresh carrots and hummus. Not tiny bags of pretzels. Breeze wants to showcase regional flavors and the best of what local partners have to offer.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Perks and Packages for Breeze Flyers
Breeze aims to make even basic economy feel like a treat through perks and packages catering to all types of travelers. While major airlines nickel-and-dime economy passengers, Breeze looks to surprise and delight. The value-added amenities start as soon as you book.
One standout perk is free cancellations up to 15 minutes before departure. This gives Breeze fliers flexibility other airlines don’t match. You can book that getaway confident plans could change. Breeze also guarantees you’ll sit together when booking family trips. Little ones can fly free on a guardian’s lap. These family-friendly policies show Breeze has your back.
For the connected traveler, Breeze offers free high-speed WiFi so you can stay productive or entertained enroute. Streaming capabilities mean you can fire up Netflix just like at home. Power ports ensure devices stay juiced for work or play. And yes, the WiFi is truly free - no gotchas.
Breeze makes earning rewards a breeze with no blackout dates or complex tiered systems. Points can be redeemed for any open seat on any flight. Upgrades to Extra Legroom seats are available for a reasonable points cost starting at 3,500 one-way. Simple and generous - that’s the Breeze way.
Even pets fly in comfort on Breeze. All animals travel in the cabin on your lap or under the seat. And the pet fee is just $65 each way - much less than competitor airlines. Breeze wants the whole family to share the breezy experience.
Looking to splurge a bit? Breeze offers affordable First Class and Extra Legroom upgrades when booking. Expect about 6 extra inches of legroom and early boarding/deplaning access. Seat prices start around $20-40 each way. That’s a steal compared to legacy airline premium seats costing hundreds.
For a little extra, you can also pre-purchase snacks, drinks and in-flight WiFi ahead of time. Breeze makes adding the amenities you want painless. And you’ll pay less by booking bundles versus individual purchases later.
Travel insurance powered by Allianz is seamlessly integrated when you book. Packages with both travel protection and 24/7 travel assistance start at just $39. The tiered plans offer increasing levels of trip coverage and security. Breeze does the homework pre-vetting quality providers.
The most exciting perk for deal-seekers? Fares starting at just $39 one-way with few fees. That’s opening up bucket-list destinations on a budget. And the nurses, teachers, students and families flocking to Breeze prove you don’t need deep pockets. The airline makes breezy, carefree travel affordable for nearly everyone.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Staffing Up: Building the Breeze Team
Breeze Airways founder David Neeleman obsesses over building the right team almost as much as selecting the perfect routes. He believes inspired, empowered employees directly translate into happy, loyal customers. This people-first mentality has defined Neeleman’s management philosophy across his airline launches. So how is he looking to replicate that magic with Breeze?
According to Neeleman, he aims to hire employees purely for attitude, energy and intellect - not experience. While skills matter, he contends the right personality is paramount. Customer service skills and emotional intelligence can’t easily be taught. Breeze uses role playing, group interviews and personality tests to assess candidates beyond just resumes. The focus is identifying inherent service mentality.
Breeze also empowers employees and provides a clear career path. Most team members start as Flight Attendants and can rise to purser, instructor, recruiter or other roles. Breeze wants to enable growth opportunities to retain talent. Employees even become part owners - Breeze distributes company equity to staff through a profit-sharing plan. Workers have a real stake in the airline’s success.
In keeping with the breezy brand, Breeze opts for a relaxed work environment. The dress code is casual - think polos and khakis versus stuffy uniforms. First names are used airline-wide to support open communication. Monthly “Submit Your Idea” sessions gather feedback at all levels. It’s about putting employees first and making work enjoyable.
Breeze stewards and pilots especially contribute to the unique culture. They aren’t just safety professionals, but brand ambassadors sharing the Breeze experience. From greeting each passenger warmly to telling the airline’s story, they exemplify the breezy vibe. Constant reinforcement of the values and ethos brings the brand personality to life.
This inclusive approach aids retention and loyalty. Breeze employees rave about the positive environment that empowers them. The company earns high marks on review sites like Indeed for its culture. One pilot captured the sentiment writing “Breeze allows you to have a personal life while still pursuing a flying career.”
Low turnover also leads to service consistency, a core tenet of Breeze. Familiar faces greeting travelers flight after flight reinforces the hospitality and ease Breeze promises. And experienced staff adeptly handles operational disruptions to minimize customer headaches. They intrinsically focus on positive experiences in any situation.
As a new entrant, Breeze also realizes the importance of standing out. Distinctive service and engagement makes an impression on passengers bombarded by travel brands. The crew’s energy and dedication gets noticed and talked about. It kickstarts the vital word-of-mouth and loyalty any startup needs.
The pursuit of talent at Breeze even landed them in a legal tiff with JetBlue. As former JetBlue leader, Neeleman naturally looked to his old staff to build the Breeze team. But JetBlue cried foul to prevent poaching. The dispute highlighted Breeze’s need for personnel with Neeleman’s customer service DNA.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - Competition in the Skies: Who Else is Targeting Leisure Travelers
Breeze enters an increasingly crowded skirmish for the leisure traveler. While the airline targets underserved routes, make no mistake - giants like Southwest, budget carriers like Frontier and Allegiant, and newcomers like Avelo all eye the same prize. Wooing vacationers will make or break Breeze. So who else strives to lock in loyal holiday flyers?
Southwest defines itself as America's low-fare, high-value airline for everyone. But leisure and price-conscious travelers represent Southwest's core audience. Their routes connect major cities as well as popular vacation spots like Las Vegas, Orlando and Hawaii. Southwest recently added predicable discounted fares to entice travelers booking far in advance.
Breeze will especially feel Southwest's presence in places like California. Southwest is California's largest domestic airline, offering the most intrastate routes. From San Diego up to Oakland, they blanket the Golden State. Breeze can siphon some demand in niche city pairs, but Southwest owns California. The brand loyalty they've built over 50 years serves them well.
While not a head-to-head competitor, JetBlue also angles for travelers through its Mint business class product. Mint features lie-flat suites on transcontinental and Caribbean routes, allowing premium passage at reduced fares. JetBlue essentially democratized business class, making luxury travel affordable to more. It's been a huge hit with the masses.
Then you have the no-frills budget carriers like Frontier, Spirit and Allegiant. They advertise rock bottom base fares to stimulate travel demand from bargain hunters. The business model remains effective for short, direct flights. These airlines flourish in smaller markets overlooked by major airlines. Leisure customers have flocked to cities like Islip, NY and Plattsburgh, NY solely due to ultra-low fares.
Most similar to Breeze is Avelo, which also launched during the pandemic targeting the West Coast. Avelo Links small markets like Bend, Redding, and Medford in Oregon to Los Angeles. With Boeing 737-800 jets, Avelo offers a more premium experience than fellow discounter Allegiant. The competition with Breeze will come down to route selection and product differences. But both airlines champion no-fee travel.
As travel rebounds, customer dollars up for grabs will go to whoever makes things simplest. Airlines that remove hassles and fees around vacation trips will earn loyalty. Those nourishing consumer trust through transparency and flexibility will thrive.
The Name Change Explained:Breezin' Through the Skies: Why David Neeleman's New Airline Ditched Moxy for Breeze - The Travel Industry Reacts: Expectations for Breeze
Breeze Airways has certainly made waves across the travel industry since its launch. Many experts eye the new airline as a potential disrupter - for better or worse. Expectations run high for maverick founder David Neeleman to deliver something fresh. But not all observers welcome increased competition, fearing a race to the bottom on fares. Regardless, Neeleman relishes his role as industry provocateur.
For consumers and consumer advocates, Breeze represents a glimmer of hope for restoring joy to basic economy air travel. Between restrictive fare rules and vanishing amenities, the experience has become something to endure versus enjoy. Breeze's focus on kindness, legroom, and inclusiveness resonates with travelers beaten down by cattle-car cabins and chronic indignities. Unbundling the pain points could earn significant public goodwill.
Many also cheer the lowered financial barrier to flight. Breeze drops fares below $100 for trips over 500 miles, truly democratizing air travel. For communities that attract tourists, the affordability unlocks new demand from middle America. Students, elderly relatives, girlfriends getaways - all can sample destinations previously out of reach. This stimulates local economies, not just airlines' coffers.
However, some industry analysts caution Neeleman's "aw shucks" vibe masks conventional low-cost tactics. Large competitors use their scale to undercut upstarts on fares until they retreat. And established brands have built fierce customer loyalty and name recognition difficult to shake. Being the nice, new airline may not be enough, especially with lean profit margins.
Labor groups also worry about how Breeze's worker culture will evolve as the airline grows. Neeleman undoubtedly employees focus on company spirit and rewards to inspire peak performance. But all startups face growing pains around compensation and job satisfaction as priorities shift. Maintaining that close-knit community feel at scale remains difficult.
Of course, Breeze's flight attendant and pilot recruiting tussle with JetBlue hit a nerve. Accusations of poaching attempt to undercut Breeze's happy worker image. And the spat emphasized just how coveted Neeleman's staff truly is. But recruiting woes could haunt Breeze as launch cities expand.
One thing Breeze undeniably provides is competitive stimulation. Complacent legacy airlines enjoying plump margins get a wakeup call. When a new airline unveils better service and perks for less, customers question the status quo. And airports in Breeze's network relish the increased activity and enplanements. Most agree some industry disruption is healthy and overdue.