On June 2018, Neeleman planned for the establishment of a new American airline under the tentative name "Moxy Airways," with capital from former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton, former ILFC CEO Henri Courpron, former JetBlue board chairman Michael Lazarus, and himself. They perceived that due to consolidation, all 11 major carriers in the country were profitable and had existed 20 years ago (except JetBlue, which Neeleman had co-founded in 2000) and that there was space for a new airline competitor. They also determined that the country's four largest airlines carried 80% of domestic US seats in 2017, and that due to the loss of service to smaller markets, US domestic air capacity had remained stagnant from 2007 to 2017 while the economy had expanded by 34%.
To fill this perceived gap, the airline planned to offer point-to-point flights from smaller, secondary airports such as Norfolk International Airport, Westchester County Airport, or Providence's then-named T. F. Green Airport, bypassing larger airline hubs for shorter travel times. The airline was also reportedly considering longer distance flights to South America and Europe. It would offer spacious seats and free Wi-Fi, like Azul and JetBlue, but charge fees for snacks and advance seat assignments, like ultra low-cost carriers Allegiant Air or Spirit Airlines. For the launch of operations, 60 Bombardier CS300s (later known as the Airbus A220-300) were ordered, soliciting Chinese lessors to finance 18 to be delivered from 2021 onward. However, in order to accelerate the airline's launch, it initially planned to utilize secondhand Embraer 195 aircraft from Azul in order to launch as soon as 2020.
On February 7, 2020, it was announced that the airline had officially been named Breeze Airways, as the previous "Moxy" name clashed with Marriott's "Moxy Hotels" trademark. The airline's branding, such as its logo, colors and aircraft livery, was developed by the Brazilian airline marketing specialist Gianfranco "Panda" Beting, Azul's co-founder, who was also responsible for creating the branding of Azul, TAP Air Portugal and Transbrasil. Additionally, Neeleman expressed the view that the airline would be known as the "World's Nicest Airline". On February 20, 2020, the airline established its headquarters in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
Breeze had originally planned to begin operations sometime in 2020 through the acquisition of Compass Airlines, though the launch was later pushed back to 2021, with the acquisition being cancelled. Additionally, the airline planned to introduce Embraer 190 and 195 aircraft to launch short-haul, regional services prior to the induction of the Airbus A220-300 for longer flights. On March 10, 2021, the airline received federal approval from the United States Department of Transportation to begin operations, and was later issued its air operator's certificate on May 14, 2021. The following week, Breeze began selling tickets on May 21, 2021, with flights planned to start on May 27, 2021. In the initial years following launch, the airline's network expanded consisting of several domestic short-haul and transcontinental routes within the United States, as well as charter operations.
Headquarters in: 6340 S 3000 E, Salt Lake City, UT