Southwest could solve its MAX 7 woes … by buying Breeze?

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By Judson Rollins

Introduction 

May 6, 2023, © Leeham News: Southwest Airlines, still awaiting the certification and delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX 7 as a replacement for its aging 737-700s, might have an unorthodox alternative: acquire startup Breeze Airways for its Airbus A220 fleet – and, more importantly, its order book.

Source: Orlando International Airport via Simple Flying.

Launched in 2021 by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze operates 23 A220-300s, 10 Embraer E190s, and six E195s to 47 airports across the US. It focuses on connecting larger airports to smaller cities, including a handful of transcontinental routes.

Ironically, the Utah-based airline achieved its first-ever monthly operating profit in March. It recently announced plans to operate the A220 exclusively by the end of this year.

According to a January update from database provider Cirium, Breeze has between 11 and 13 A220s scheduled for delivery each year through 2028. No options are listed.

Market intelligence says Airbus Commercial Aircraft CEO Christian Scherer visited with Southwest executives in Dallas and Breeze leadership near Salt Lake City in mid-April. This was well after Breeze’s February order for 10 additional A220s.

Summary
  • To deliver or not to deliver the MAX 7?
  • Southwest’s aging 737-700 fleet has few replacement options
  • How a Breeze acquisition might play out
  • Azorra Aviation is likely a key partner in helping Southwest get A220s

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