Sun Country Airlines
|Founded||June 1982; 37 years ago|
|Commenced operations||January 1983; 36 years ago|
|Frequent-flyer program||Sun Country Rewards|
|Company slogan||The Hometown Airline|
|Parent company||Apollo Global Management|
|Headquarters||Eagan, Minnesota, US|
|Operating income||US$ 619 million (2018)|
|Net income||US$ 23 million (2018)|
|Profit||US$ 30 million (2018)|
Sun Country Airlines is a United States ultra-low-cost airline, and the eleventh largest in the United States by passengers carried. It is based at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and headquartered in nearby Eagan, Minnesota. The airline operates 86 routes between destinations in the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The airline operates focus cities at Dallas/Fort Worth and Portland, Oregon.
Sun Country began flight operations in January 1983 with a single Boeing 727-200 jetliner. The airline's original staff consisted of sixteen pilots, sixteen flight attendants, three mechanics and one office person. A number of the original employees had previously worked for Braniff International Airways, which ceased operations on May 12, 1981. The company's founder and first President/CEO was Captain Jim Olsen, who also acted as Chief Pilot. His wife, Joan Smith-Olsen, acted as Chief Flight Attendant and Head of Inflight Operations.
In 2001, the company suspended operations due to financial troubles.
Following the replacement of interim CEO Jay Salmen by Stan Gadek, former CFO of AirTran Airways, Sun Country was nearly finished by the major recession of 2008 and the revelation of financial fraud. The airline furloughed 45 of its 156 pilots and scaled back its summer schedule due to rising fuel costs. Sun Country indicated it had hoped to get up to $50 million in loans or other financial help from the state of Minnesota and the airports commission. In September 2008 the carrier reduced, and in some cases eliminated, flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles. It also began charging for the first checked bag. At the end of September 2008, Gadek called for a 50% pay-deferral to all remaining employees. Tom Petters resigned after an FBI probe discovered that the airline had suffered financial fraud on a massive scale. Following this, the airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time, on October 6, 2008.
Rebuilding and new owners
In July 2011, Sun Country Airlines was purchased out of bankruptcy for $34 million by the Davis family, owners of Cambria, a Minnesota-based countertop company. Marty Davis, CEO of Cambria, became Chairman of Sun Country Airlines. In 2015, the board hired Zarir Erani as President and CEO of Sun Country.
Transition to a low-cost carrier
The airline had a net income of $27 million in 2015, followed by a 41% drop to $16 million in 2016. In July 2017, after more than a year of missed monthly earnings projections, Davis replaced Erani as interim President and CEO, with Erani moving to other duties within the Davis family of companies. Jude Bricker, previously of Allegiant Air, was appointed as CEO one week after Erani stepped down.
On December 14, 2017, the Davis brothers announced they would be selling the airline to New York Based Apollo Global Management for an undisclosed amount. As part of its strategy, Sun Country moved towards being a "no frills" airline.
As of April 2019, Sun Country Airlines flies to 54 destinations and operates 88 routes throughout the Caribbean, United States, Mexico and Central America. Many Sun Country destinations are seasonally served as demand grows and falls throughout the year. The airline additionally provides charter service for the United States Armed Forces  and NCAA football teams.
Top domestic markets
|Rank||Airport||Passengers||Market Share (%)|
Sun Country maintains interline agreements with following airlines.
The Sun Country Airlines fleet consists of Boeing 737 Next-Generation airplanes. Seasonally, additional aircraft are leased between Transavia and Sun Country. During its slow summer season, Sun Country occasionally leases planes to Transavia and during Transavia's slow winter season, the airline leases planes to Sun Country. Sun Country operates with an all economy layout across their fleet. The airline offers three types of economy seat selections: Best, Better, and Standard.
|Boeing 737-700||3||—||12||—||114||126||To be retired|
|McDonnell Douglas DC-10 series||13||1986||2001|
Frequent flyer programs
Sun Country ran its first frequent flyer program, Sun Country VIP Club, from 2004 to July 2007, when it was replaced by Ufly. Ufly was replaced by Sun Country Rewards from November 2018.
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- Sun Country Airlines | Destinations, suncountry.com
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- www.bizjournals.com https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2016/10/28/sun-country-ceo-future-growth-plans-travel-beyond.html. Retrieved 2019-03-20. Missing or empty
- Condor: Announces Interline Agreement With Sun Country Airlines®
- "https://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/news/2018/04/17/as-travelers-left-stranded-where-were-sun-countrys.html". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2018-10-20. External link in
- "First Look at Sun Country's New, Smaller Seats". Thrifty Traveler. 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
- "Sun Country Airlines Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
- "Sun Country moves to an all-B737-800 fleet in low-cost pivot". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
- "AeroTransport Data Bank". aerotransport.org. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
- "Sun Country is Overhauling its Rewards Program: What You Need to Know". Thrifty Traveler. 2018-11-02. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
Media related to Sun Country Airlines at Wikimedia Commons