WARWICK, RI – Governor Dan McKee was joined today by Breeze Airways Chief Operations Officer Mike Wuerger, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, and state and local officials to celebrate Breeze Airways’ inaugural day as a base of operations at Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport (PVD). With this launch, Breeze Airways has completed its initial hiring and expects to expand to as many as 250 full time jobs, including pilots, flight crews, support staff and maintenance personnel to sustain up to a total of 20 nonstop routes.
A “base” is an airport where an airline permanently bases aircraft and crew. This increases the potential for additional flight options for consumers and enhances the reliability of routes given the availability of reserve crews and back-up aircraft. Rhode Island benefits from the creation of up to 250 new permanent airport jobs and receives economic and tax revenue benefits generated by more routes, increased tourism-related employment and expanded options for business and leisure travel.
“I thank Breeze Airways for choosing Rhode Island, and Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport, for its base of operations. This new hub is bringing jobs to our state, economic activity for our small business community, and new non-stop routes which will allow countless tourists and visitors to see what makes Rhode Island a true destination state,” said . “I look forward to this partnership with Breeze Airways, and I thank the Speaker, Senate President, and General Assembly for their support in growing T.F. Green.”
“It’s a great day as we name Rhode Island T.F. Green International as Breeze’s newest base of operations,” said Mike Wuerger, Chief Operations Officer for Breeze Airways. “We are so grateful to Governor McKee, the Speaker, Senate President, and General Assembly, and to Iftikhar and the whole team at T.F. Green for the support from day one in making this happen, and, of course, to the traveling community here who have flown our first thousand departures from PVD and embraced the airline’s growth.”
“Today’s celebration is ‘seriously nice’ news for our state and our airport. Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is thrilled to become a base of operations for Breeze Airways,” said Iftikhar Ahmad, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation. “None of this would be possible without the support of state leaders who recognize the vital role of tourism marketing to create and retain new routes and the jobs that come with them. Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is thrilled to be part of Breeze’s long-term growth, and the local jobs and boost for tourism in our state that comes with it.”
“Our airports are a vital economic driver for the state, supporting over 19,000 jobs and an economic impact of over $2.6 billion a year,” said RIAC Board Chair Jonathan Savage. “On behalf of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation Board of Directors, I thank our Governor, General Assembly, and Breeze Airways for working so hard to help make this day possible.”
“I fought for and brought millions in federal funds to extend the runway and upgrade the airport so we could increase service and generate more tourism, jobs, opportunities, and connections,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. “Breeze’s significant presence here as a base of operations is another example of federal investments in our state’s airport infrastructure paying real dividends.”
“The launch of Breeze Airways’ base at T.F. Green will create more good-paying jobs for Rhode Islanders and help expand the strengthen the entire regional economy,” said U.S. Representative Seth Magaziner. “I am proud to partner with the Airport Corporation to ensure that we build on this progress for years to come.”
“Breeze Airways prides itself on making flying easy. There’s no airport that makes travel easier than Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport. Breeze Airways’ decision to create a base at our airport makes perfect sense, and I am very excited to welcome more routes – as well as the related jobs and economic impact – to Warwick and Rhode Island,” said House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi.
“The new Breeze hub will boost our economy and create good-paying jobs, better connect Rhode Island with cities across the U.S., and help make our state a more attractive and accessible destination for travelers. I want to thank Breeze Airways for its investment in Rhode Island, and I want to thank RIAC for working to make today possible,” said Senate President Dominick Ruggerio.
“As Mayor of the host city of Warwick, I am very excited Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is now a Breeze base of operations. The creation of 250 jobs has a direct and positive impact on our tax revenue and local economy,” said Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi.
“Breeze Airways is a valued partner in our tourism efforts, and we are proud that they’ve chosen to make Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport a base. These 250 new, good-paying jobs will drive economic development across our state,” said Commerce Secretary Liz Tanner. “We look forward to many years of partnership with Breeze Airways.”
Over a five-year ramp-up period, Breeze Airways will base six to eight aircraft at PVD, most of which will be the Airbus A-220 – a brand new aircraft with industry-leading fuel efficiency. Breeze will also grow its network at PVD from the current eight existing or announced routes to 20 or more routes over the five-year ramp up phase that begins with the opening of the base. Breeze will offer approximately 20 average weekly departures by the end of 2023, reaching 44 weekly departures by 2027. Breeze has committed to maintaining its PVD base, the number of jobs, routes and flights for at least 10 years.
To help support this base of operations, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has approved tax credits for Breeze Airways under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Program, which are available once jobs are created and contributing state income tax for a full year. It is expected that the airline could receive up to $300,000 per year for 10 years under the Qualified Jobs Tax Credit Program. Additionally, the State of Rhode Island is engaging in destination advertising to attract visitors to fly to Rhode Island thanks to funding made available by the Governor and General Assembly in the FY23 State Budget. According to Appleseed, a third-party economic impact analysis firm, the economic impact from this Qualified Jobs project would be an estimated increase in annual state GDP of $76.23 million in 2026 and a gross increase of approximately $5.93 million in personal income, sales, and business tax revenues during the 12-year commitment period beginning in 2023.