WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a big week for airlines in Connecticut with Avelo Airlines announcing new routes out of Tweed-New Haven. State leaders and airport officials announced Thursday that a new hub at Bradley International Airport will bring hundreds of jobs.

“As long as you keep flying us, we’ll keep adding more and more cities and more and more destinations,” Breeze Airways founder and CEO David Neeleman said.

Flashback to May 27, 2021, Breeze was a brand new airline that picked Bradley International Airport as one of several spots to launch new nonstop service. Since Memorial Day, Breeze has flown some 60,000 customers in and out of Bradley to Charleston, Columbus, Norfolk, and Pittsburgh. Some 30% of business is repeat business. 

Breeze will add eight new nonstop destinations and make Windsor Locks its fifth hub, a move that is expected to create more than 200 new jobs and a total of 12 nonstop flights out of Bradley. 

What does it mean to make Bradley a base? It means Breeze will permanently house aircraft here, hire local pilots, flight attendants, a manager, mechanic, and launch those new routes. It also means quieter engines in Breeze’s new Airbus A220s built by East Hartford’s own Pratt and Whitney. 

“Breeze’s operation marks the first scheduled service of that aircraft right here at Bradley,” David Lehman, the commissioner of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) said. “The economic engine of an area is determined a lot by the air service that is provided.”

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is supporting the project with a grant of up to $1.26 million contingent on the company creating and retaining 212 full-time jobs.

“We’ve got to make sure that Connecticut has easy access to the country and that’s what Bradley does and that’s what Breeze does,” Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said.

By the end of February, the airline is expected to provide service nationally between 18 cities and 14 states.

Neeleman said the airline will announce eight new nonstop destinations from Windsor Locks in the coming weeks, for a total of 12.