Some info I gathered about Sun Country:
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Photo © Jason Whitebird
Sun Country Airlines 737-800 Next Generation Characteristics:
Number of Engines 2
Engine Type CFM56-7B27
Engine Manufacturer GE
First Class Seat Pitch 39"
Coach Class Seat Pitch 31"-33"
Total Seats 162
Maximum Cruise Altitude 41,000 feet
Normal Cruise Speed 530 mph
Maximum Range 2600 Nautical Miles (3000 SM
Y class seat width 17"
F class seat width 21"
Some variations exist in seat widths due to specific requirements like emergency exit and seats used in the non-constant section of the aircraft, the numbers provided are average and there are some variations in seat models.
Sun Country Airlines 737-800 Next Generation Features:
Large overhead bins
Leather seats in first and coach class
Enhanced security procedures and equipment to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
Advanced flight deck with the latest communication & navigation systems
Fuel efficient - environmentally friendly
Young fleet - average aircraft age is only 3 years with new aircraft arriving in 2005.
Also recently announced:
Sun Country to expand its service
Sun Country Airlines, known for its winter flights to warm-weather destinations, said Monday that it will start flying twice daily to major U.S. cities.
The Mendota Heights-based carrier will double its flights to Denver, Dallas, Las Vegas, New York and Seattle, Sun Country President Jay Salmen said Monday in an interview.
"We are not attempting to dramatically expand our route structure, but we are trying to put depth in our schedule," Salmen said.
Still, the new service represents a big expansion for Sun Country, which shut down in 2001 under the previous ownership. The old Sun Country was in deep financial distress two years after introducing low-fare flights to 15 cities served by Northwest Airlines.
The latest expansion comes at a time when most airlines are losing money.
Although Salmen sees strong growth potential for Sun Country, he said high fuel prices wiped out the carrier's anticipated 2004 profit. "We were projecting about a $5 million bottom-line profit," he said. "The fuel increases ate up our profit to the point where we are right around break-even."
Sun Country is flying 11 Boeing 737s for its winter flight schedule, an increase of two planes from last winter. Sun Country now flies to 32 destinations.
Salmen and CEO Robert Daly have been leading Sun Country since it emerged from bankruptcy in April 2002. Daly was the lead investor in a group called MN
Airlines, which purchased key Sun Country assets for $3.1 million from U.S. Bank, the only secured creditor.
The old Sun Country was a charter carrier in April 1997 when Bill La Macchia, of Mark Travel in Milwaukee, bought it for a reported $41 million.
La Macchia and his son, Bill Jr., converted Sun Country to a scheduled service airline competing against Eagan-based Northwest. Sun Country expanded rapidly, rolled up massive losses, and laid off about 900 employees when it shut down in December 2001.
Sun Country's new owners and executives have gradually expanded the airline's flight schedule, fleet and workforce.
Salmen said Sun Country has focused on building a customer base that wants low fares, nonstop service and the option of a first-class cabin.
The move to twice-daily flights to New York and other major cities will occur in May. Although Sun Country's business peaks in the winter, Salmen said, "The day in, day out, year-round business is to core cities in the United States."
Other core cities that will be covered by daily service on Sun Country are Cancun, Fort Myers, Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco.
Sun Country's leased planes are four years old or less. In March, Sun Country will take delivery of two new 737s from the Boeing factory.
Sun Country lost $14.2 million in 2002 but posted net income of $3.3 million in 2003. It opened 2004 with a $6 million profit in the first quarter but closed out the full year on a break-even basis.
Sun Country's payroll now approaches 750 people.
After the new ownership group formed in 2002, Sun Country's unionized pilots and flight attendants agreed to two-year pay freezes. Pilots and flight attendants got a 3 percent pay raise last March, and another 3 percent pay increase will take effect on March 1.
In recent weeks, Salmen said that Sun Country recalled 50 pilots and 60 flight attendants. There are now about 130 pilots -- down from about 285 at the time of the bankruptcy -- and 230 flight attendants working for Sun Country.
Management started negotiating with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) in November, and the parties were at the bargaining table Monday.
"We feel that the pilots have given back to get the company up and running," said Bruce Achterling, chairman of Sun Country ALPA. Now, he said the airline is interested in a long-term contract. "We would hope there would be annual increases," Achterling said.
Under the old Sun Country, Boeing 727s were being flown by three-pilot crews. The new Sun Country is flying an all-737 fleet that requires two-pilot crews.
The new owners have succeeded in part because they started with virtually no debt and are operating fuel-efficient planes, Achterling said. "The people in charge are looking at the dollars and cents," he said, and that rigorous cost-control has been beneficial for the company.
Sun Country's flight attendants will open negotiations with management on Feb. 9. The pilot and flight attendant contracts are both amendable on March 31.
As the airline has grown, furloughed flight attendants have been called back to their old jobs. "Every flight attendant on the seniority list has had the opportunity to come back," said Joe Battaglia, a Teamsters business agent who represents Sun Country flight attendants.
There are 78 flight attendants on the list of 308 who have not accepted recalls, but they will retain their recall rights for five years, he said.