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Sun Country announces 15 summer routes as it seeks to be lower-cost alternative to Delta

Nov. 17, 2022
4 min read
Sun Country announces 15 summer routes as it seeks to be lower-cost alternative to Delta
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Sun Country Airlines is making big plans for next summer.

The Minneapolis-based ultra-low-cost carrier is debuting 12 new domestic routes and resuming three more.

All routes originate in the carrier's hub of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and provide a lower-cost alternative to the market's dominant carrier, Delta Air Lines.

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In fact, the airline relishes that competition with Delta, its CEO said Wednesday.

"We’re trying to turn Minneapolis into a two-airline market," Jude Bricker said at the Skift Aviation Forum in Dallas. "If you pay with your own money, you fly with Sun Country. If you fly on a corporate contract, you fly Delta."

In fact, one new route and one resuming route operate to a Delta hub.

And, history shows that Sun Country — and its loyal, local base — can be competitive. While smaller than Delta in many markets, it dominates in others. For instance, Sun Country had 56% of the market share in the MSP to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) market, according to August data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most recent statistics available.

The 12 new routes are as follows.

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MSP to:

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT): Service begins April 13 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Atlantic City International Airport (ACY): Service begins May 1 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF): Service begins May 4 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH): Service begins May 4 and operates Thursdays and Sundays until May 28, then Mondays and Fridays starting June 2.
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): Service begins May 5 and operates Mondays and Fridays until May 26, then operates on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays starting May 29.
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC): Service begins May 19 and operates on Fridays and Sundays.
  • Omaha Eppley Airfield (OMA): Service begins May 26 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI): Service begins May 29 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Wilmington International Airport (North Carolina) (ILM): Service begins June 1 and operates on Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Colorado Springs Airport (COS): Service begins June 8 and operates on Thursdays and Sundays.
  • Cherry Capital Airport (Traverse City, Michigan) (TVC): Service begins June 16 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP): Service begins June 19 and operates on Mondays and Fridays.

The three resuming routes are as follows.

MSP to:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York) (JFK): Service resumes April 13 and operates on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Sun Country last served JFK in 2019 and also serves Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
  • Milwaukee Mitchell Airport (MKE): Service resumes May 5 and operates twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays until May 26, then operates on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays starting May 29. Sun Country last served MKE in January 2022.
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL): Service resumes May 23 and operates on Fridays and Sundays. Sun Country last served STL in October 2021.
Sun Country's new and resuming routes. CIRIUM

Review: Flying Sun Country's 737-800 from Minneapolis to Newark

All routes are operated by Boeing 737 next-generation aircraft.

“We’re excited to continue our growth to top leisure destinations across the country,” Sun Country chief revenue officer Grant Whitney said in a statement. “With these new routes, Sun Country will now fly direct from MSP to 86 unique markets across the United States, Mexico, Central America, Canada and the Caribbean. We look forward to connecting our guests to their favorite people and places to create lifelong memories and transformative experiences.”

In addition to its scheduled ultra-low-cost service, Sun Country also has a robust charter market — and it also operates 737 freighters on behalf of Amazon.

“The fundamental reason we went into it is still very valuable today," Bricker said of his airline's cargo flying. "And it helps us de-peak the schedule.”

Featured image by AARONP/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023