NORFOLK, Va. – A new airway is coming to Norfolk International Airport and it will create 116 new jobs.
Governor Ralph Northam announced that Breeze Airways, a new U.S.- based airline providing low-cost, nonstop service to mid-size markets, will invest $5.2 million to establish an operations center in Norfolk.
Northam’s office said the company targets underserved and unserved cities without nonstop service and has identified dozens of route opportunities from Norfolk International Airport.
All employees, which will include airline crew and aircraft maintenance workers, will remain local.
Norfolk will be one of Breeze Airways’ first four operations bases in the United States. The airline also plans to offer flights out of Richmond International Airport.
The company plans to offer flights beginning in June 2021.
“Aviation has long been ingrained in the Hampton Roads economy, and the arrival of Breeze Airways is another sign of this region’s growing position as a commercial flight hub,” said Governor Northam. “The post-pandemic world will offer increasing opportunities for travel and tourism, and the addition of this new low-cost carrier at Norfolk International Airport will be a catalyst for economic growth, welcoming visitors to our Commonwealth with convenient, nonstop service to often overlooked markets. We are honored that Breeze Airways has selected Virginia as one of its first domestic locations and look forward to building a strong and successful partnership with the company.”
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Breeze Airways is a start-up airline established by David Neeleman, a founder of multiple airlines, including JetBlue, Northam’s office said. Its targets include inbound travel, local leisure and business travel, and millennial travelers. Breeze Airways will operate mostly in markets in which no other airlines currently compete. Additional information about Friday’s announcement is available at flybreeze.com [r20.rs6.net].
“The City of Norfolk and Hampton Roads provide fertile ground for a new, niche airline like Breeze Airways,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Norfolk International Airport will be a prime launch point to reach the company’s growing customer base and provide more travel options for Virginians, and we are confident that Breeze Airways will find success in the Commonwealth.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Norfolk, Norfolk Airport Authority, Virginia Department of Aviation, Hampton Roads Alliance, Hampton Roads Workforce Council, VisitNorfolk, and Virginia Tourism Corporation to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Governor Northam approved a $400,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Norfolk with the project. The company is also eligible to receive benefits from the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit for new, full-time jobs created.