Breeze eases plan to rely on students as flight attendants

Business
David Neeleman

FILE – This file photo provided by CeanOrrett shows David Neeleman with Breeze aircraft. Breeze Airways, a start-up carrier that hopes to begin flying this spring, is giving up on a plan to hire only college students as flight attendants after the strategy failed to draw enough applicants. The airline founded by JetBlue creator Neeleman posted a new listing for flight attendants on Friday, May 7, 2021, without the student requirement. (CeanOrrett via AP, File)

Breeze Airways, a start-up carrier that hopes to begin flying this spring, is giving up on a plan to hire only college students as flight attendants after the strategy failed to draw enough applicants.

The airline founded by JetBlue creator David Neeleman posted a new listing for flight attendants on Friday without the student requirement.

Breeze originally offered “current and future” online students at Utah Valley University up to $6,000 per year in educational assistance, a monthly salary, company housing, and one paid trip home each month.

Breeze spokesman Gareth Edmondson-Jones said the airline is keeping the program with the college in Orem, Utah, while broadening its search.

“The UVU course wasn’t delivering the numbers of flight attendants we need,” he said.

The Association of Flight Attendants had criticized Breeze’s original plan, saying that the college-student requirement would prevent people from turning the job into a career.

“It attempted to take us back more than 60 years,” union President Sara Nelson said Friday. She said she is still concerned about the pay and shifting costs to workers.

Utah-based Breeze plans tocarry leisure travelers to smaller citiesthat have been overlooked or abandoned by larger airlines. The airline hasn’t said which cities it will serve, but Neeleman has hinted it will start in the Southeast, including Florida.

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