In a first in its 92-year history, Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is now a base of operations for a major airline it was announced yesterday as Breeze Airways disclosed plans to have …
In a first in its 92-year history, Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is now a base of operations for a major airline it was announced yesterday as Breeze Airways disclosed plans to have as many as 20 nonstop flights here in the next five years.
Following a press conference yesterday, Mike Wuerger, chief operations officer for the airlines that started flights here in 2021, said Green is one of six Breeze bases of operations in the country and the only one at this time in the northeast. He said it will likely be the biggest. Wuerger disclosed that the airlines is still waiting for the complete delivery of 80 aircraft ordered when it started operations and has ordered an additional 40 A-220s that he made a point of calling “quiet aircraft” with industry-leading fuel efficiency.
Breeze has begun hiring as many as 250 full-time jobs, including pilots and flight attendants, as well as support staff and maintenance personnel to sustain at least 20 nonstop routes. Wuerger said the jobs would be paying an average salary of $90,000. Breeze is building out 3,000 square feet in the terminal for its staff and another 7,000 square foot warehouse that he said would be completed by the end of July. He said as many as eight planes would stay overnight at the Warwick base.
“If you want to be a pilot come see me afterward,” Wuerger said turning to room filled with people from the hospitality and tourism sectors, the airport and local and state officials. There were a few laughs, but quite evidently Wuerger is serious about filling positions.
It was music to Governor Dan McKee. He said jobs are a “key to getting past a recession if we get one.”
He lauded the efforts of Rhode Island Airport Corporation president and CEO Iftikhar Ahmad, board chair Jonathan Savage, state employees and lawmakers in making Rhode Island a base of operations.
“It doesn’t happen without a real strong team,” he said. McKee also touched on the number of nonstop flights Breeze will bring, noting this offers the opportunity for the state to market itself as a destination.
House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi likewise mentioned teamwork and singled out Mayor Frank Picozzi saying while the mayor may not always do what’s popular, “he does what’s right.” He praised Breeze for following up on promises made two years ago to expand service and make Green a base of operations.
Welcoming the announcement, Senate President Domenic Ruggiero called Breeze “one of the fastest growing airlines in the country.”
In his remarks, Picozzi pointed out that Warwick has 17 hotels with an additional two on the drawing boards. He reminded Wuerger that while the airport is known as Providence that this is Warwick and that “Warwick is very proud to be host.”
As he has done at virtually every airline announcement over the years, Board Chair Savage urged those in attendance to tell their friends of all the flights Breeze offers.
Breeze began serving Providence on July 22, 2021 with three destinations and has doubled in size each year since. The airline is adding daily one-stop/no plane change BreezeThru service to Orange County, CA, today as well as daily service to Los Angeles, starting May 17, with nonstop flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays, plus BreezeThru service for the remaining days of the week.
Breeze now serves 12 nonstop destinations from T.F. Green and four BreezeThru routes to:
Breeze’s business model, which focuses on providing fast, efficient, and affordable air service between unserved and underserved city pairs, has continued to expand its footprint across the U.S. using mid-sized aircraft, such as the A220-300. The airline doesn’t charge change or cancellation fees up to 15 minutes prior to departure and offers other benefits such as free family seating and a la carte pricing and upgrades including premium seating.
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