Lehi resident Danny Cox, Director of Guest Support and Insights at Breeze Airways, was interviewed by Lehi Free Press to describe the formation, mission, and vision of the new airline, headquartered in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
Breeze Airways is the brainchild of David Neeleman, the founder of Azul airlines of Brazil, and JetBlue in the United States. According to Cox, “Neeleman is the most innovative figure in the airline business. He has started five airlines and is always thinking of new ways to improve transportation for the customer or guest.”
Cox, a Lehi resident, is originally from Orderville, Utah. He attended Dixie State University and graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in accounting. Toward the end of his senior year at SUU, he began his search for employment. He had a friend from Orderville who encouraged him to apply for a position with JetBlue.
Cox interviewed and was offered a position but decided he would rather take an offer from another company, “I thought I would rather be a big fish in a little pond than a little fish in a big pond,” said Cox. After making that decision, Cox later attended a conference at SUU where Neeleman was speaking. Cox approached Neeleman to compliment him on his speech. When Cox introduced himself, Neeleman asked him to repeat his name. “You are the only applicant to turn down a job at JetBlue,” Neeleman quipped. After two years in Texas, Cox felt he would like to re-apply for a position at JetBlue, he reapplied and was again offered a job.
Cox is one of the early leaders who collaborated with Neeleman on the creation of “Breeze.” “In 2018, Neeleman went public about a new airline concept. Shortly after we talked about the concept–all airline communication could all be done electronically. We plan to open a contact center where all travel accommodations can be done by text. The concept was a long-time in the making. Because we will keep personnel costs to a minimum, we can offer lower fares.”
Cox said, “Our mission is to operate out of smaller airports, with Provo being considered. We have ordered 60 Airbus 220 aircraft. These airplanes have the capacity to travel from Provo to Maui. Our desire is that all interaction is through a mobile device. Communication is easily understood and straight forward.” Cox continued, “We want automation to work for us and especially our guests, and some [communication] even handled by chatbots. We can use technology to answer most questions guests have. When a question is unique, or a situation needs a personal touch, it will be answered by a front- line agent.”
“Breeze Airways will become ‘The World’s Nicest Airline,’” said Cox. “We desire to help people become successful. My passion as part of that is to optimize efficiency and remove waste—with a smile.”
Cox said the new airline should be operational by the end of 2020. Breeze will employ about 400 team members, most of them being employed locally. Part of those 400 team members will be home-based positions so employees may enjoy the benefits of working from home.