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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Breeze Airways is about to take off. The new low-cost airline will operate its first flights on May 27.

Why it matters: The airline sprang to life just in time to take advantage of historic pandemic-induced dislocations in the air travel market.

  • Used planes are abundant and cheap, and there's a labor pool to pick from after pilots and other workers lost their jobs at bigger airlines, the AP reports.
  • Flight volumes are beginning to bounce back, thanks to domestic leisure travel — Breeze's target market.

One unusual pitch: “We created Breeze as a new airline merging technology with kindness,” says founder David Neeleman.

  • Breeze will even offer KIND bars in-flight (Utz products, too).

Details: Neeleman is a prolific founder of airlines, having previously started JetBlue, Brazil’s Azul, Canada’s WestJet, and Morris Air (acquired in the '90s by Southwest).

  • By July, Breeze aims to be flying nonstop routes out of 16 U.S. airports, targeting smaller cities where major airlines have cut back.

Of note: Low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines also launched this spring, serving a handful of destinations on the West Coast.

Our thought bubble: Out of the gate, Breeze is filling a gap for services legacy carriers aren't currently providing. But it could still eat away at the incumbents' sales on the margins — especially by helping customers skip those annoying layover flights to mid-size cities.

  • This while Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines operate under the weight of the tens of billions in additional debt they borrowed to stay afloat during the pandemic.

What to watch: Breeze is just getting started. "There are so many city pairs needing nonstop service around the country, we have a further 100 cities under consideration," according to Neeleman.

Go deeper

Aug 22, 2021 - World

Pentagon issues Afghan evacuations "warning order" to commercial airlines

Afghans continue to wait around the Hamid Karzai International Airport as they try to leave Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on Saturday. Photo: Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Pentagon "issued a warning order" to U.S. commercial airlines that it may compel them to assist in evacuations from Afghanistan, the Defense Department confirmed in an emailed statement Saturday.

Why it matters: President Biden has vowed to use "every means" to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies amid reports of a deteriorating situation at Kabul's airport after the Taliban seized control of the country.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."