The E190/195 seems like a good fit for initial operations. Why take on the high debt of new aircraft so soon? Some of the most successful airlines started with a few used airplanes.
Ownership costs are very low, but maintenance costs are high. There will need to be a big RASM premium to compete with other ULCCs.
I see Breeze mixing the strategies of Spirit and Allegiant, pursuing a higher end clientele that is attracted by the phone app. (I tell you right now, all the apps for all the airlines I fly need help, they all have weaknesses, so I can only hope Breeze does better.)
Slide 7 shows how Spirit reduces costs by high utilization (over 12 hours vs. 8 hours drives down costs by over 11%):https://ir.allegiantair.com/static-file ... 63ca7ef082
Now, it is buried in this presentation, but Allegiant matches supply and demand (way down at slide 62), but the reality is slide 59 to 86 go into how Allegiant flies more when revenue is higher while trying to fly enough to keep costs in control. What does this have to do with Breeze and the E190/195? I speculate that Breeze will fly the E190/195 as Allegiant did the MD-80 (back when they had them, just far more reliable):https://ir.allegiantair.com/static-file ... f510573ad7
By this, and this is just purely my speculation and opinion, I expect, just like Allegiant, the E190/E195 not to fly a lot in September and October. For most of the year, I expect reduced flying on reduced demand days where Breeze works to find out what the seasonal demand is and what the demand profile is during the week (e.g., Allegiant notes poor revenue on Tuesdays and Saturday can be good or bad).
I expect the A220 to be flown intensely a la Spirit, on popular routes (it is the larger aircaft) often with higher frequency. I would expect 12 or more hours of utilization per day (on average).
The E190/E195, with its low fixed costs, will only be flown when demand is higher. For example, I expect TPA and FLL to be served on popular days cruise ships depart (once that industry restarts), fly to and from popular events (college football and basketball crowd), and certain markets identified as 2x to 5x/week service. (e.g., do not fly on the least popular days). I personally have been fascinated by how Alleginat, for example, flies Los Angeles to Grand Junction Colorado (one of my common routes) but only on Monday and Friday (Which happens to work for me...). They'll fly the aircraft to another city Tuesday and Saturday and use the aircraft to surge on Sunday (it is regional when people don't fly). So I expect the E-jets to see about 8 hours per day, averaged over a year, of use. But certain days to be intense and certain days to have the bulk of the fleet parked. Or a mix of the Spirit and Allegiant models.
They have two aircraft for two missions. Now personally, I prefer how Allegiant has switched to one fleet type. For Breeze, that will take until a heck of a lot more A220 are on the secondary market. So for now, they are using used E190s for the lower utilization duty.
Efficiency is relative. We have high fixed costs (A220 due to new purchase/lease) and low fixed costs (discounted used E-jets) vs. variable costs (low on the A220 as in the maintenance holiday and outstanding fuel burn) vs. the E-jets (more maintenance needed on used aircraft, CFM-34 engines have a high maintenance cost reputation per cycle, and a higher fuel burn than the larger A220).
We have few numbers. JetBlue noted the E190s were 11% of seat miles, but 20% of costs:https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2018/07/1 ... ht-battle/JetBlue also said that “next generation aircraft are able to deliver 25-30% lower direct operating cost per seat mile” when compared with the E190, where such costs include ownership and flight operating costs (fuel, labour, airport fees, etc) but not overhead.
Now that lower operating cost per seat is for high utilization (the JetBlue model, this is just my opinion). So the A220 for JetBlue, in high utilization, basically has the same cost per flight as the E190.
But that isn't an apples to apples comparison:
1. JetBlue has pretty high lease costs, per my understanding, on the E190. Breeze should have far lower ownership (fixed) costs
2. JetBlue was flying every day of the week (I hypothesize Breeze will only fly E190s when yield is elevated).
3. JetBlue pays better for E190 pilots, a lot better. $55 for copilots with a monthly guarantee of only 55 hours vs. JetBlue's $89/hour with a guarantee of 70 hours per month. Breeze pilots $117 vs. $192. Ummm... Advantage Breeze to the tune of $109/hour and not having to pay as many minimum hours (more flexibility in reduced frequency operations). https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/art ... %20companyhttps://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/air ... ue_airways
Huge advantage to Breeze on the low utilization as I note above. A savings of $109/hour plus savings in reduced pilot minimums means a huge amount more flexibility than JetBlue could have with the exact same aircraft. This is a temporary artifact of so many regional pilots scrambling for work that breeze is hiring on the E190s/E195s.
This doesn't bode a really long life at Breeze for the E-jets. However, I see the business case of bringing them onboard to start service
1. Pilot recruiting. So many E170/E175 pilots need work that the E190/E195 is an easy and lost cost transition.
2. Career path: The pilots will, in my opinion, like the A220 allowing Breeze to retain pilots
3. The F/A hiring is odd... I personally think it would have been marginal in the prior economy. However, this economy will have people scrambling for work. So everyone part time getting a college degree:https://www.aerotime.aero/26568-breeze- ... attendants
That will provide flexibility as well as control costs.
4. As noted, flying a mixture of high utilization (A220, very low variable costs) and low utilization (E190/E195 with low fixed costs) and pursuing high revenue (only fly when passengers pay a premium).
Breeze is unintentionally lucky. They will start flying when vaccines are rather available (so their staff may be protected) which should restart demand.
I'm very excited for Breeze. Alas, I understand, except for maybe SLC, they will be very East of the Mississippi for a few years. Cest la vie (I'm in California). I see a huge untapped market for 2x to 5x per week (so much I speculate the big US airlines will drop a third or so of regional flying and go to the 2x to 5x per week model).
5 months without TV. The best decision of my life.