Sun Country sees travel rebound ahead, plans 16 new routes

Jessica Wong

Executives at Sun Country Airlines believe a travel rebound is in sight, announcing Monday more than a dozen new routes for the summer season and nine new airports to be added to its network. The Minnesota-based budget carrier expressed cautious optimism that the industry — nearing the one-year mark of […]

Executives at Sun Country Airlines believe a travel rebound is in sight, announcing Monday more than a dozen new routes for the summer season and nine new airports to be added to its network.

The Minnesota-based budget carrier expressed cautious optimism that the industry — nearing the one-year mark of dismal air travel demand caused by the global pandemic — will continue to see more customers booking tickets as the vaccine rolls out throughout 2021.

“The past year has been a challenge for the travel industry but with increased access to COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, we’re starting to see that turnaround,” Sun Country’s chief executive Jude Bricker said in a statement.

The airline, which temporarily grounded some of its fleet last spring and summer, now says all its passenger planes are routinely flying.

But with the CDC’s new requirement that all U.S. inbound travelers provide proof of a negative COVID test, executives are closely monitoring a potential dip in demand.

Beginning in May, Sun Country is giving Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport travelers a new airline option for flying nonstop to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Cal., Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Mon., Jackson Hole Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Fairbanks International Airport and Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.

Several of the new summer destinations reflect an American population increasingly interested in vacationing in nature and near national parks. By car and air, travelers last summer flocked to the wide expanses of the Mountain West, in places known for built-in social distancing.

Sun Country remains a largely MSP-centric carrier, but worked to expand outside the Twin Cities market over the last several years. The airline announced a handful of other routes, beginning in either May or September, that play into its strategy for targeting major U.S. airports where it sees a chance to supply a cheaper option for nonbusiness travel.

This includes a twice-weekly Cancun flight from Houston or a Puerto Vallarta-Dallas/Fort Worth flight. It’s also bringing Orlando flights to Indianapolis and Connecticut, among other new routes.

Sun Country on Monday also extended its current schedule through Dec. 14, 2021.

Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767

rn% endblock %","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":"template":"% extends "grid" %rnrn% block heading_text %Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. % endblock %rnrn% block last %rn parent() rn# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #rnrnrn% endblock %","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start","id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start","id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"% extends "shell" %rnrn% block substyles %rn

rn% endblock %rnrn% block page %rn#rnrn limit - count - 1 rnrn form.flow_form_open(nextAction: 'firstSlide', null, null, '_top') rn form.btn('Save Now') rn form.flow_form_close() rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#rn

rn

rn

You have limit - count - 1 articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn form.flow_form_open(nextAction: 'firstSlide', null, null, '_top') rn form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') rn form.flow_form_close() rn

rn

rn% endblock %rnrn% block last %rn parent() rnrn% endblock %"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start","id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

","start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"]};

Next Post

Record close for S&P 500 despite defensive bias elsewhere

The S&P 500 was not able to hit an intra-day all-time high level but did manage to post an all-time closing high. Traders aggressively bought the dip when the S&P 500 dropped to 3800. The Dow was weighed by underperformance in Merck after the pharma giant scrapped its failed Covid-19 […]