Sun Country adds 10 new routes as it extends schedule past Labor Day

Sun Country Airlines, a fast-growing budget carrier, has announced 10 new summertime routes as it continues to expand. These new routes include two to new international destinations and extend the booking schedule past Labor Day in 2024. All of the new routes will be from Sun Country’s main hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), where the airline has been increasingly challenging Delta Air Lines.

The expansion of Sun Country’s routes puts it in direct competition with Delta, even to smaller destinations such as Billings, Montana, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. However, the airline will also introduce two new routes from MSP to Oakland, California, and Syracuse, New York, which will not compete with Delta. Sun Country will be the only carrier offering nonstop flights on these routes.

The two new international destinations added to Sun Country’s route map are Toronto and Montreal. Flights to these cities will operate twice a week from early June through late August. Sun Country will compete directly with Air Canada and Delta on these routes.

With the addition of these new routes, Sun Country aims to provide nonstop service from MSP to 98 distinct markets by 2024. The airline has been actively challenging Delta’s dominance at MSP, particularly in the leisure travel segment. Sun Country’s CEO, Jude Bricker, expressed the airline’s goal of turning Minneapolis into a two-airline market, where cost-conscious travelers choose Sun Country for leisure travel and Delta for corporate contracts.

Grant Whitney, senior vice president and chief revenue officer for Sun Country, highlighted the airline’s focus on being the leisure airline of choice for MSP customers. He mentioned that in the last five years, Sun Country has more than doubled its nonstop destinations from MSP and is excited to offer unique new offerings spanning the continent from Quebec to New Mexico.

Sun Country’s strategy to establish itself as a solid No. 2 carrier in the Twin Cities goes beyond competing with Delta. In the past, the airline appeared to retaliate against low-cost rival Allegiant when it tried to expand its footprint in MSP.

In addition to the new routes, Sun Country will also make a change in its service in Houston. It will switch its base from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) to the smaller William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). While IAH is dominated by United Airlines, Hobby is primarily served by Southwest.

The announcement of Sun Country’s new routes coincided with the extension of its booking schedule through September 10. The airline’s growth and expansion demonstrate its commitment to offering diverse options for travelers and its determination to carve out a strong presence in the Twin Cities market.

Overall, Sun Country Airlines’ expansion and the addition of new routes highlight its ambition to become a major player in the budget carrier market. By targeting leisure travelers and strategically challenging Delta Air Lines, the airline aims to provide affordable and convenient travel options for cost-conscious customers. With its continued growth and expansion, Sun Country is poised to make a significant impact in the airline industry.

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