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First Breeze Airways flight lands at Charleston’s airport

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Breeze Airlines’ inaugural flight to Charleston International Airport from Tampa landed minutes ahead of schedule, marking the start of the new airline’s service.

“There’s a heck of a lot of people that have never been to Charleston, South Carolina, that will visit here this summer and bring their money here and spend it in Charleston,” Breeze Airways Founder and CEO Dave Neeleman said after the flight landed at the airport. “You will always be our first arrival city in the history of this company so we’ll always cherish that.”

The plane will depart for Hartford, Connecticut at 1:25 p.m.

The new airline announced Charleston would be part of its debut service last week, and the Charleston County Aviation Authority CEO Elliott Summey says they are excited about what this could bring to the Lowcountry.

“Its a huge deal. That’s a very large increase for us,” Summey says.

From Charleston, Breeze Airways will initially offer service to 11 markets, seven of which are new to Charleston International Airport.

In addition to Tampa and Hartford, service to Louisville, Kentucky begins Friday.

“The more opportunities we have for more direct flights to other places, it gives our business folks opportunities to showcase Charleston,” Summey said. “And to be able to connect Charleston to our industry leaders.”

Neeleman said offering affordable non-stop service to smaller cities like Charleston will open up tourism options for visitors, especially as people feel more ready to travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s no doubt with the vaccine coming in, people feeling more comfortable, the fall in COVID cases, that there’s a lot of pent-up demand,” he said. “People just want to get out and they want to resume their normal lives and we’re here to help them do that so they can come and visit cool places like Charleston.”

The remaining eight destinations and their start dates are:

  • Norfolk, Virginia - June 10
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio - July 8
  • New Orleans - July 8
  • Pittsburgh - July 8
  • Columbus, Ohio - July 8
  • Richmond, Virginia - July 8
  • Huntsville, Alabama - July 15
  • Providence, Rhode Island - July 22

Neeleman said the airline’s first flight from Tampa to Charleston sold out in less than 30 minutes.

“They believe in Charleston and we believe in them,” Charleston International Airport CEO Elliott Summey said of the airline. “For the leisure traveler this means more direct connections to wonderful locations at unbelievable fares. And for business travelers, it opens up new markets.”

Breeze will operate 13 single-class Embraer aircraft this summer, flying routes with an average flight length under two hours. The ten E190 jets will be configured to seat 108 Guests while the three E195 aircraft will have 118 seats. Breeze also has ordered 60 brand new Airbus A220 aircraft that will be delivered one per month for five years, starting in October this year.

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