A fast-growing low-cost air carrier with major expansion plans announced on Tuesday it is coming to Sacramento International Airport with a new nonstop flight to Minneapolis.
Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines will launch its new local service May 23, with four flights a week out of Terminal B. Initial one-way fares will be $119.
Sacramento International air services manager Mark Haneke said the new service supplements Sacramento’s efforts to fill gaps to major metropolitan areas around the country. Haneke said Minneapolis is increasingly popular for business and recreation fliers.
This is second ultra-low-cost carrier to set up operations in Sacramento in the last six months. Frontier Airlines launched flights last year to Las Vegas and Denver, prompting other airlines to drop their fares to those cities, Haneke said.
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Sun Country will compete for fliers with Delta, which until now has had a monopoly between Sacramento and Minneapolis.
“We’re always happy to see an airline come in and provide some competition on previous monopoly routes, especially by an ultra-low-cost carrier,” Haneke said. “That will stimulate the market and drive down fares.
“It’s broadening the type of service offered here. It means more options for the traveling public.”
The Sacramento flight is part of a major expansion for Sun Country, which has been in existence since 1983. The airline this year will add 19 new seasonal nonstop routes and seven new airports: Sacramento, Washington, D.C., Providence, Newark, Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia and San Antonio International Airport.
The expansion increases the company’s operations by 20 percent, officials said.
“Today is a very exciting day in the history of Sun Country as we make this tremendous step forward in growing our airline,” said Sun Country Airlines CEO Jude Bricker. “This network expansion allows us to provide even more destination options to our community, create new jobs in the Twin Cities market and further our reach across the country.”