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Breeze Airways launches cobranded credit card, adds 5 new cities, plans loyalty program revamp

Breeze Airways announced its first cobranded credit card on Tuesday and kicked off an expansion of its loyalty program — now known as “Breezy Rewards” — in the latest step by the startup airline to try to reach profitability by year’s end.

The airline also announced several new markets and routes in its latest expansion.

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The Breeze Easy Visa card, which will be issued by Barclays U.S., offers as much as 10 points per dollar spent on various purchase categories:

  • 10 BreezePoints per dollar spent on “Nicer” and “Nicest” fare bundles, along with ancillary add-on purchases (five points per dollar when the flight is purchased and five additional points per dollar once the flight is completed)
  • Four BreezePoints on “Nice” fare bundles, the airline’s basic product (two points per dollar when the flight is purchased and two additional points per dollar once the flight is completed)
  • Two points per dollar on grocery store and restaurant purchases
  • One point per dollar on everything else

The card will also offer several perks, including priority boarding and free inflight Wi-Fi on equipped planes for the cardholder and all passengers on the same reservation. The airline’s Airbus A220 fleet offers connectivity and will operate all of Breeze’s commercial service by this fall, according to chief commercial officer Lukas Johnson.

New cardholders can get a signup bonus of 50,000 BreezePoints after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days of card membership, along with 7,500 bonus anniversary points each year that they spend at least $10,000 on the card.

The airline also said on Tuesday that it would add five new airports to its route map: Bangor International Airport (BGR) in Maine; Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW); Lancaster Airport (LNS) in Pennsylvania; Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, Michigan (LAN); and Pensacola International Airport (PNS) in Florida.

From BGR:

  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) Thursdays and Sundays starting Oct. 3
  • Tampa International Airport (TPA) Mondays and Fridays starting Oct. 4
  • Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) Wednesdays and Saturdays seasonally starting Oct. 5

From DFW:

  • Provo Airport (PVU) Mondays and Fridays starting June 7

From LNS:

  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) Thursdays and Sundays starting Oct. 8

From LAN:

  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) Wednesdays and Saturdays starting Oct. 2
  • Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) Thursdays and Sundays seasonally starting Oct. 3

From PNS:

  • Tampa International Airport (TPA) Mondays and Fridays starting June 28

Breeze updates loyalty program

According to Breeze executives, the credit card launch is the start of a broader reconstruction of the loyalty program.

“We launched in Covid and so loyalty — the definition of that has shifted greatly,” Angela Vargo, Breeze’s head of marketing, told TPG during a conference call late last week. “We want to build a program that allows [users] to get value for the experiences that they want.”

Read more: Breeze adds 3 summer routes from Raleigh-Durham focus city

“We’re making it as flexible as possible, but we’re really just using this as a baseline so we can grow it,” she added.

BreezePoints are worth one cent per point toward fares or other purchases with Breeze, although the airline plans to tweak the program to make the points more valuable — either through promotions or other incentives for users to spend them.

“We know we want to get above the one cent per point,” Breeze chief commercial officer Lukas Johnson said.

“Throughout the year we’ll be enhancing it with a bunch of different structures,” he added. “So we’ve got the shell of the program, plus the co-brand [credit card].”

breeze cabin
DAVID SLOTNICK/THE POINTS GUY

The announcements come as Breeze prepares to sunset the Embraer E-190 and E-195 jets it first launched with, moving its entire schedule operation onto its fleet of Airbus A220-300 jets as it continues to take delivery of them. Last month, founder David Neeleman said that the transition should be complete by the end of the year, although Johnson told TPG last week that the transition should be complete by early fall.

Related: Breeze will move entirely to Airbus A220s and buy more jets; adds 50th city

The airline uses a point-to-point operating model that aims to operate nonstop flights between smaller markets that do not otherwise have direct air connectivity.

Breeze is also pursuing profitability this year, Neeleman previously said (following peer startup Avelo Airlines), despite recent suggestions that the airline has lost significant amounts of money.

Chief financial officer Trent Porter pointed to increasing fuel costs and competition in the third quarter of last year. However, he noted that the airline had still improved its margin for the quarter over the previous year.

“With us scaling as quickly as we have been, we’re finally at that scale, with the number of aircraft that we have, to be able to be profitable,” Porter said. “That’s really what the change is for this year in what we’re looking at.”

The airline tripled in size last year, Johnson added.

With the new markets, Breeze will have a presence later this year in 56 cities across 29 states, the airline said.

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