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DOT Grants Approval for Breeze Airways

New low-cost airline led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, will focus on point-to-point flights to underserved markets

The Department of Transportation has granted low-cost carrier Breeze Airways a “certificate of public convenience and necessity,” clearing the way for the airline to carry passengers, freight and mail for interstate travel. The carrier is being led by JetBlue founder David Neeleman.

The low-cost carrier, which will be headquartered in Connecticut but will have an operations center in Salt Lake City, will focus on point-to-point flights in underserved markets, according to Neeleman.

The DOT approval allows Breeze to operate on up to 22 aircraft for up to one year. In February, the airline took delivery of the first of 15 Embraer E190s, and also has an agreement to buy 60 new Airbus 220-300 aircraft, which can hold up to 160 passengers.

Breeze still awaits final certification from the FAA before it can begin flying.

In addition to his role as JetBlue’s founder, Neeleman also co-founded Morris Air, which was sold to Southwest Airlines in 1993; and founded Azul, where he remains chairman after stepping down as CEO in 2017.