The blue planes of Breeze Airways could soon be touching down on foreign soil.
An executive from the ultra-low-cost startup said Wednesday that the carrier was working with the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain the necessary approval to operate flights outside the U.S.
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“We’re in the process right now,” chief commercial officer Lukas Johnson said at the Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas. “The first year was getting the three fleet types on. Now we’re in the process with the FAA of getting flag (international) ops added. Not announced this or next week, but in the near future, we’ll be making some announcements.”
Flag certification is part of an airline’s FAA operating certificate. It permits an airline to fly outside of the lower 48 contiguous United States — both internationally and to Alaska and Hawaii, and is a prerequisite to an airline starting up service there. That Breeze is actively working with the FAA on the certification signals, as Johnson said, an announcement that could come soon.
Johnson’s comments on Wednesday bookend comments he made earlier this year about the carrier’s international expansion.
“We’re going through the certification process for the [Airbus A]220s first, and then we’ll tackle the next pieces, which is international and etc.,” he told TPG in February. Breeze later completed that process and began A220 service in May.
Depending on the route, Breeze could deploy the Airbus A220 or its fleet of Embraer 190 or 195 aircraft internationally.
While Johnson didn’t drop any hints about Breeze’s initial international markets, it would likely be to Central America or the Caribbean — as opposed to Canada. Johnson told TPG earlier this year that the airline would avoid selling tickets in foreign currency — and success in the Canadian market generally requires attracting passengers on both sides of the border and selling tickets in the Canadian dollar.
David Slotnick contributed reporting.