A new airline officially launched service Thursday at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting the city to several new markets. The arrival of a Breeze Airways flight from Huntsville, Alabama, marked the start of operations for the airline.
In May, Breeze announced the development of an operations base at the airport (MSY), with a capital investment of $6.6 million and the creation of 261 new direct jobs, with an average salary of $65,000.
Breeze's formal launch of service marks the start of flights connecting New Orleans with Huntsville; Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Akron/Canton, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; and Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas. Service between New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio, begins July 16.
"Louisiana is proud to welcome Breeze Airways with open arms, and we celebrate today's momentous occasion as aviation operations officially commence," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "The summer travel season is well underway, and so far, it has seen some of the busiest days since before the pandemic. Louisianans are eager to travel again, and we are excited to welcome visitors to our great state once more. Breeze is the latest option these visitors can take to explore New Orleans and the rest of our wonderful state."
Travelers arriving in New Orleans from Huntsville were greeted by the Second Line Jazz Band upon entering the terminal. The band will lead dignitaries to the plane departing for Richmond and water cannons will spray a salute when the plane takes off.
"We're so grateful for the support of Louisiana Economic Development and Louis Armstrong International airport as we celebrate the arrival of Breeze's fourth base today: New Orleans," said Breeze Airways CEO David Neeleman. "By Friday, we'll be serving ten new markets nonstop from MSY and this is just the beginning. At Breeze, we only fly nonstop routes, avoiding hubs, and with our low fares, we'll get you there in half the time, for half the price."
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Breeze comprises routes between 16 cities in the Southwest, Midwest, Southeast, and Eastern U.S., and will focus most of its flights from four main U.S. airports: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, as well as airports in Tampa, Florida; Charleston, and Norfolk. It's providing up to nine daily departures on peak days.
"As New Orleans continues to our Road to Recovery, and as we continue to welcome more visitors, we are glad to offer even more opportunities for people to visit a city that is truly like none other across the country," said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. "I am glad to be joined by other leaders and very important people as we celebrate this $6.6 million capital investment and the creation of over 250 new jobs for the City of New Orleans. The launch of Breeze Airways is just another example of the city's commitment to not only providing more economic development opportunities, but more safe and affordable travel opportunities as well."
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