Brothers reach new heights on Breeze’s inaugural Provo flight | News, Sports, Jobs

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Brothers Doug, left, and Matt Browne sit at San Bernardino International Airport Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, during one of the layovers on the company’s first flight from Provo Airport.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Brothers Matt, left, and Doug Browne sit in the cockpit of a Breeze Airways Embraer 195 at San Bernardino International Airport Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. The Browne brothers served as captain and co-pilot on the maiden flight of the company departing from Provo airport. .

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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Brothers Doug, left, and Matt Browne sit at San Bernardino International Airport Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, during one of the layovers on the company’s first flight from Provo Airport.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

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When two pilots strap together for a flight, it’s essential to have trust – trust not only in the plane, but also in each other. Fortunately, in brothers Matt and Doug Browne, Breeze Airways couldn’t have picked two pilots with a better connection for the company’s inaugural flight from Provo Airport.

Growing up in Orem and now living in Lehi, the Brownes were quick to ask the company for the privilege of flying on the inaugural flight.

“We asked them about a month, maybe a month and a half ago,” Doug Browne said.

“I emailed our CEO, David Neeleman, and said, ‘Hey, my brother and I have been with you from the start. Any chance of making that first flight from Provo? And he said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’, and then we were like, ‘Yeah!’ Matt Browne added.

Asking nicely certainly helped the Brownes get the first flight, but both earned their spot with Breeze. Matt was one of the first pilots to join the airline and has already helped establish its services in Tampa, Florida. Doug joined the company last year, previously flying from New Orleans, Norfolk, Virginia, and Hartford, Connecticut.

With the Provo airport renovation nearing completion, Cottonwood Heights-based Breeze announced in May that it would be moving to Utah County.

“When we heard about Provo, we were like, ‘Yeah! I can’t believe this is happening!’ “said Matt Browne, his brother adding that it was just nice to be back on the west coast and finally ‘come home’.

The brothers’ parents were on hand for the launch, and they also met Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, all more than happy to take photos and share in the day’s festivities.

At every stop in the first race from the road from Provo to San Francisco to San Bernardino and back Thursday, Breeze President Tom Doxey made a point of mentioning the Brownes sitting in the cockpit, calling it a “really, really experience great for them.”

As for the flights themselves, Matt served as captain while Doug was first officer, although both were captains in rank. Over the months, through calls and schedule swaps, the Brownes have worked together in the cockpit before, but that didn’t make the occasion any less special.

“To order an airliner from Provo… I never thought that would happen in my lifetime,” Matt Browne said. And the fact that it ‘turned out that I was the first captain from then on was surreal’.

The fire department’s ceremonial spray was a great midpoint in the atmospheric adventures of the Browne brothers. Doug began flight training in 2001 and flew commercial aircraft for seven years, while Matt worked longer with airlines, beginning in 2010.

Both brothers also stayed home for graduate school, doing their flight training as students at Utah Valley University. They learned to fly using trainer aircraft from a radically different airport.

But even with more powerful engines, more passengers and every other change imaginable, the action remains the same, they say.

“When you’re in a trainer (and) doing about 80 miles an hour, doing over 200 miles an hour now climbing three or four times faster, it’s just a completely different feeling” , said Doug. “But still, it’s the same route, the same structure. Just much faster and much steeper. This is very fun.”

The Brownes aren’t the only ones driving home after a long day in the sky, however. Flight attendants and Breeze crews are also based in the area.

The two brothers expressed the hope that more and more locals will work with Breeze in the future and maintain the ties between the company and the county.

“UVU, they still have a great flight school there – a lot has changed since we were there. We are delighted to be part of it. Hopefully more of these UVU pilots will join Breeze and stay in the community,” said Doug Browne.

This encouragement is accompanied by frequent and resounding praise for the young airline. After only 15 months in existence, Breeze is still catching on with the mainstream with its “seriously cool” branding and the Browne brothers want people to know that it’s not just a slogan, it’s really cool. .

Moreover, they like the accessibility it offers to the inhabitants.

“To see people who should be working a lot harder, people from the Utah valley for example, who have to go up to Salt Lake, Salt Lake is – no offense to Salt Lake – but it’s a bit of a pain to get in and get out of,” Matt Browne said. “To see people in small communities like this get services and get to the places they want to go quickly, efficiently, and really easily. … That ease of use doesn’t is just a blessing.

It was far from the first time these two radioed a tower side-by-side, and it certainly won’t be the last time, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Hometown kids are ready to stick with Breeze for the long haul. Thursday was like a sugar high, Doug Browne said, with adrenaline and fanfare.

But the most rewarding part, they agreed, is being able to clock in every day and provide a service they care about to their own community.

No one knows exactly what the future holds, but only the sky is the limit.


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