The management department at Vaughn College welcomed Breeze Airways president Tom Doxey to its Industry Insights Speaker Series, sponsored by ATL Partners. Hosted by Dr. Maxine Lubner and Adjunct Professor Loretta Alkalay, Doxey discussed the exciting ventures of Breeze Airways—a new low-fare airline that is making a name itself with Seriously NiceTM flights and fares. At this event, students learned the benefits of earning Vaughn’s Safety Management Systems Certificate Program—as well as the exciting ways of how they can apply their aviation and management degrees at airlines such as Breeze Airways.
Last spring, industry veteran Tom Doxey was appointed president of Breeze Airways after having held senior positions for six years at United Airlines. Doxey’s job titles at United Airlines included chief financial officer of operations and, most recently, senior vice president of technical operations, where he oversaw the airline’s global technical operations and a team of more than 13,000 employees. With more than 16 years of combined industry experience, Doxey also credits his time at Allegiant Airlines—prior to his roles at United Airlines—as having given him the foundational experience for where he is today.
The Breeze Airways business model
Founded by aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, Breeze Airways is known on the map as being the industry’s “nicest” airline, as its business model is customer-focused with flexibility, accessibility and integrity at the helm. Doxey outlines the company’s business model as “Seriously Nice.” Here are some key points:
- Non-stop flights avoid crowded hubs for easier, quicker travel
- Convenient airports
- Less drive times
- Shorter TSA lines
- Low fares—simple, affordable price structure for a “nice,” “nicer” and “nicest” experience
- Creates affordability and accessibility for travelers from all walks of life
- More affordable airport parking
Peace of mind
- No change or cancellation fees, allowing travelers to cancel 15 minutes prior to flight
- Service to convenient, smaller airports, including 93 percent of unserved airports by other carriers
- Beautiful, new aircraft with on board entertainment—with Wi-Fi coming soon
- Families can sit together without additional charge
- Travelers may have a flight credit that’s good for 24 months
Earning their wings
Doxey explained that although Breeze Airways was created during the COVID-19 pandemic, its management team of industry experts overcame several challenges to become one of today’s up and coming low-fare airlines. “Adversity creates strength,” said Doxey. “It helps you to grow through hard, challenging times.” Hard work is surely paying off, as Doxey outlined some of the airline’s impressive accomplishments in its first year of operation.
Travel + Leisure Ranking
Just this year, Travel + Leisure ranked Breeze Airlines as second of the 10 best U.S. domestic airlines in 2021, calling attention to its ease, affordability and seriously nice team members.
Record-setting first year
- Breeze Airways has raised $200 million, establishing this airline the best-funded aviation start-up in history.
- Operated 9,000 flights across 90 routes.
Future programs and operations
- Customer loyalty program
- International routes that include the Caribbean and Mexico
How Breeze embraces diversity, culture and the environment
Doxey explained how Breeze is taking tangible steps to address the topics of diversity, inclusion and culture adaptation within the company. “We’re not just talk,” he said. “We have conversations at the senior level that address these topics.” These are two of the steps they are taking:
- Values committee—Breeze executives discuss the importance of inclusion and ways to ensure the company is doing everything possible to recognize people of all races, places and orientation as well as celebrating holidays such as Juneteenth and Veteran’s Day, among others.
- Listening sessions—Addressing the different perspectives of women and giving them a voice where they may address their needs in the workplace.
And where the environment is concerned, Breeze Airways takes the health of citizens and the planet seriously. Doxey discussed the important ways in which the company is dedicated to keeping noise—and environmental pollution—to a minimum.
- Use planes with quieter engines
- Structure and adjust business around demand—will not fly planes with only a few customers
- Scale back flights in slower months such as September and October
Unique pilot and training programs
Despite the ongoing pilot shortage, Doxey stated that Breeze Airways is focused on building its pilot base. Here are more details about this unique program:
“Breeze Boost” Pilot Program
“Breeze Boost” gives pilots who have less than the required 1,500 flight hours the opportunity to earn the hours they need to flow into its pool of commercial pilots. Doxey says this is an effective way to attract qualified pilots and create a pipeline to the 1,500 hours they need to earn their commercial pilot licenses.
Another unique opportunity for working as a Breeze Airways pilot is the ability to quickly build seniority. As a young airline, pilots who join early on have the opportunity to earn seniority faster than they would from working at larger carriers.
Doxey was proud to say that training center and simulators at Breeze Airways are world-class and led by top pilot instructors who are laser-focused on safety.
Doxey’s tips on landing a job in the industry
Doxey was impressed to hear that Vaughn offers the Safety Management Systems Certificate Program. “We look for candidates with safety risk assessment skills,” said Doxey. “Having those tools and mindset is a huge benefit for those looking to be a part of our operations team.” He said the company is hiring for positions across the board—with pilots and technicians as among the more specific openings.
Doxey offered advice to Vaughn students—or anyone—who may be interested in working at Breeze Airways: “We welcome those who are looking to join our team of aviation, hospitality and technology enthusiasts,” he said. “It’s hard work—and you will need to pull up your sleeves—but in the end, it’s an exciting and rewarding opportunity to help create our ‘Seriously NiceTM’ culture.”
Vaughn’s aviation and management programs
Vaughn offers a range of bachelor’s, associate and certificate programs in aviation, management and aviation maintenance. As a leading institution in these industries, the College is setting the pace for providing its students with the skills they need to land jobs in these in-demand fields. Are you ready to pursue your futureproof career? Discover the possibilities of a lifelong career through one of our programs. Apply today!