By Taylor Rains
Sun Country Announces 16 New Routes, Nine New Cities
Even as the coronavirus continues to plague the airline industry, Sun Country Airlines appears to be making big moves in its network. On Monday, the carrier announced 16 new routes, including nine new ones from its base at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Minnesota.
Sun Country has expanded its network across the United States and Mexico. The nine new routes from its Minneapolis base will fly to:
- Fairbank International Airport in Alaska
- Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Montana
- Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming
- John Wayne Airport in Orange County, just south of Los Angeles
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston
- Bradley International Airport just north of Hartford, Connecticut
- Indianapolis International Airport
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
The seven additional routes include:
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to John Wayne Airport
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport to McCarren International Airport in Las Vegas
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Cancun International Airport
- San Antonio International Airport to Cancun International Airport
- Bradley International Airport to Orlando International Airport
- Indianapolis International Airport to Orlando International Airport
According to Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the nine new routes from Sun Country’s base will begin in May 2021. Also in May, the carrier plans to launch its two new flights to Cancún from Houston and San Antonio in addition to its flights from Dallas/Fort Worth to Puerto Vallarta and Orange County.
The final three flights will begin in September. These include the two new routes to Orlando from Connecticut and Indianapolis and Houston to Las Vegas.
According to a statement obtained from Sun Country by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, the airline is expanding into airports with unmet demand. In particular, Sun Country sees a lot of potential in the southern Texas cities of San Antonio and Houston to beach destinations in Mexico. Furthermore, the carrier wants to capitalize on the leisure market out of its Minneapolis base. It aims to be “the first choice” for travelers departing from the Upper Midwest.
Sun Country isn’t the only airline expanding its route map. Throughout the pandemic, Southwest Airlines has rethought its network, making decisions about serving new cities to optimize its profits. Over the weekend, the carrier officially announced new routes between two California airports: Fresno Yosemite International Airport and Santa Barbara Airport. Flights from Santa Barbara to Denver, Las Vegas and Oakland will begin on April 12, and flights from Fresno to Denver and Las Vegas will start on April 25.
Earlier this month, Allegiant Air also expanded its network to include 21 new routes and three new cities, including Jackson Hole, Key West and Portland, Oregon. The carrier will operate flights from Jackson Hole to Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa and Los Angeles. Routes from Portland include Idaho Falls and Santa Maria and Monterey in California. Lastly, Allegiant will fly from Key West to Knoxville and Orlando-Sanford.
In addition to new cities, Allegiant is also expanding its leisure travel between existing cities, such as Baltimore, Sarasota, Charleston, Denver, Grand Rapids, Norfolk, Nashville, Savannah, Myrtle Beach, and Washington D.C., to name a few.