Sun Country will add dozens of nonstops to MSP this spring, including JFK, KC, and St. Louis

With air traffic picking up again, Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines on Tuesday announced a major expansion with more than a dozen more nonstop routes from MSP next year, including to Atlantic City, Colorado Springs, Louisville and New York.

The move revives Sun Country’s pre-pandemic push to become a low-cost carrier with national reach. It creates more competition on Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where Delta Air Lines of Atlanta is the dominant airline.

“This is one of the largest expansions to the route network at MSP,” said Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates the airport.

The airline’s expanded schedule shows that demand for domestic and leisure travel remains promising in 2023 as the airline’s overall recovery continues. Sun Country has hired and trained pilots and other employees, as well as added aircraft to its fleet.

Sun Country is offering some hefty discounts initially, but whether the higher fares will come down longer term remains to be seen given the strong demand for travel.

Customers can now book spring trips on Sun Country from MSP to: Atlantic City, NJ; Charlotte, NC; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; Kansas City; Louisville, Ky.; Rapid City, SD; Richmond, Virginia; Omaha, Neb.; Traverse City, Michigan, and Wilmington, NC

Sun Country is also resuming MSP’s nonstop service to John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the airline last flew in 2019. It will resume nonstop service from MSP to Milwaukee and St. Louis.

In January 2019, Sun Country announced its largest-ever expansion with 19 seasonal routes that spring. It was a big step as the airline sought to transform from a mid-range, Twin Cities-centric airline to an ultra-low-cost carrier.

During the pandemic, Sun Country relied more heavily on cargo and charter flights to offset passenger service cancellations. With the destinations it announced Tuesday, Sun Country is coordinating scheduled passenger service with its charter and freight operations.

“New service to Charlotte, Columbus, Kansas City and St. Louis will be coordinated with our Major League Soccer (MLS) charter service. New service to Atlantic City will support our casino charter customers,” said Grant Whitney, chief revenue officer at Sun Country. “In addition, all of Sun Country’s interline partners currently fly from JFK, which will create more opportunities for our customers to travel internationally.”

Sun Country’s interline partners include China Airlines, Condor Airlines, Emirates and Icelandair.

With Tuesday’s expansion, Sun Country will operate 120 routes to more than 90 airports in the United States, Mexico, Central America, Canada and the Caribbean.

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