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LAXintl
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Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:10 pm

Per Airline Weekly:

Sun Country is soaring. The Minneapolis-based carrier, whose 4% operating margin was worst among all U.S. airlines last calendar year, unexpectedly dazzled with a record 24% figure in the first quarter of this year.
That was best among all U.S. airlines. Yes, Sun Country’s sunshine-stacked route network peaks in Q1. But never has it peaked this much. And don’t forget: This year’s Q1 didn’t have the Easter holiday. As with Frontier, Sun Country’s figures— come courtesy of the U.S. Transportation Dept.’s (DOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
Despite growing scheduled ASM capacity 15% y/y, total operating costs dropped an impressive 15%, perhaps reflecting success in adopting aversion of the ultra-LCC business model. It densified seating, for one, but also retained some premium amenities and still gets a substantial share of its revenues from charter operations. Sun Country’s key focus in diversifying its network away from Minneapolis, where it competes head to head with the mighty Delta. In Q1, while its Minneapolis capacity declined, lots of new flights were added from Las Vegas, Fort Myers, Phoenix, Orlando, and other sunshine markets. It also built a mini-base in Portland, Ore. But were Sun Country’s extravagant Q1 profits a fluke? The next data point? Not until September 16, when the DOT releases Q2 figures.


https://airlineweekly.com/

DOT financial reports
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.as ... 0Financial
Last edited by LAXintl on Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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UPlog
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:24 pm

Good to see them generate nice results after years of floundering. The same is what largely happened with F9 once it moved away from a DEN hub focus and embraced ULCC model.
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LAX772LR
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:24 pm

Good to see.

I'd imagine not unrepentantly stranding pax might've gone a long way toward that as well. :duck:

I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue with their PDX expansion, particularly to the likes of MSY, Florida, and areas in the southeast for whom PDX is a notable hole.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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janders
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:39 pm

Good to see. I know many here were throwing stones at SY and its new management.
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
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enilria
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:41 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Per Airline Weekly:

Sun Country is soaring. The Minneapolis-based carrier, whose 4% operating margin was worst among all U.S. airlines last calendar year, unexpectedly dazzled with a record 24% figure in the first quarter of this year.
That was best among all U.S. airlines. Yes, Sun Country’s sunshine-stacked route network peaks in Q1. But never has it peaked this much. And don’t forget: This year’s Q1 didn’t have the Easter holiday. As with Frontier, Sun Country’s figures— come courtesy of the U.S. Transportation Dept.’s (DOT) Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
Despite growing scheduled ASM capacity 15% y/y, total operating costs dropped an impressive 15%, perhaps reflecting success in adopting aversion of the ultra-LCC business model. It densified seating, for one, but also retained some premium amenities and still gets a substantial share of its revenues from charter operations. Sun Country’s key focus in diversifying its network away from Minneapolis, where it competes head to head with the mighty Delta. In Q1, while its Minneapolis capacity declined, lots of new flights were added from Las Vegas, Fort Myers, Phoenix, Orlando, and other sunshine markets. It also built a mini-base in Portland, Ore. But were Sun Country’s extravagant Q1 profits a fluke? The next data point? Not until September 16, when the DOT releases Q2 figures.


https://airlineweekly.com/

DOT financial reports
https://www.transtats.bts.gov/Tables.as ... 0Financial

As a privately held airline they can pretty much anything they want in F41. This is just building buzz for an IPO. I remember when NK IPO’d they released earnings for the past several years that had nothing to do with what they had put in F41.
 
flyoregon
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:46 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Good to see.

I'd imagine not unrepentantly stranding pax might've gone a long way toward that as well. :duck:

I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue with their PDX expansion, particularly to the likes of MSY, Florida, and areas in the southeast for whom PDX is a notable hole.


I think opening a "mini-base" in Portland certainly helped, and they've hit marketing around here decently well. I hear Sun Country ads on the radio often and see Portland specific Google Ads, so they're doing good at targeting. I think logical adds will continue and see previously added routes go year-round from seasonal i.e. BNA, SAT. I think MSY is a no-brainer, and MAYBE FLL...at 2x weekly, it would probably work.

SY (compared to NK or F9) added good and popular routes out of Portland, with good prices to get people in the seats and become familiar with the airline. I think they're a nice alternative to Alaska and/or Delta.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:05 am

They are basically copying frontiers proven model at this point. Frontier copied allegiant and spirit. I would expect them to make money
 
flyoregon
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:16 am

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
They are basically copying frontiers proven model at this point. Frontier copied allegiant and spirit. I would expect them to make money


I'm guessing they're copying/mimicking Allegiant more specifically considering Jude Bricker came from G4
 
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mercure1
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:52 am

There probably is ample room for Sun Country to turn into a prosperous LCC if you look at markets like Europe and now Asia where 50 percent of capacity is supplied by LCC/ULCC operators.
Should be plenty of space to grow in the US for such models.
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LAX772LR
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:31 am

flyoregon wrote:
I think MSY is a no-brainer

:checkmark: :checkmark:

PDX is the only FAA-large hub that MSY doesn't have a nonstop to. Nearly 200PDEW, which is probably ripe for stimulation. Definitely due!
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
flyoregon
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:47 am

LAX772LR wrote:
flyoregon wrote:
I think MSY is a no-brainer

:checkmark: :checkmark:

PDX is the only FAA-large hub that MSY doesn't have a nonstop to. Nearly 200PDEW, which is probably ripe for stimulation. Definitely due!


Absolutely. It’s low hanging fruit. Why nobody has jumped on it is beyond me. Long overdue in my opinion.
 
ctrabs0114
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 7:02 am

FWIW, SY still operates a lot of NCAA related charters, especially in the postseason for (non-FBS/Division 1-A) football and basketball. I would venture to guess that also helps the bottom line for SY as well.
2019: DAL, MCI, PHX, LAS, DFW, SAT, ORD, SLC, SEA, DTW, PHL, MIA, LAX; B73G (WN x3), B738 (WN, AA, DL), A20N (NK), MD83 (AA), B788 (AA x2), CS1 (DL), B739 (DL), B712 (DL), B752 (AA), B763 (AA), B77W (AA), B789 (AA)
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LAXintl
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:18 pm

enilria wrote:
As a privately held airline they can pretty much anything they want in F41. This is just building buzz for an IPO. I remember when NK IPO’d they released earnings for the past several years that had nothing to do with what they had put in F41.


While DOT dues not need GAAP numbers they do have specific measures that airlines are required to report and it's still quite pertinent information especially when viewed in comparison to past SY performance.
Seems the new CEO and model changed has generated some very positive improvement.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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UPlog
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:24 pm

Yes I also feel the LCC/ULCC model has lots of room for growth in the U.S. Glad to see Sun Country trying something different and appears to be succeeding.
I fly your boxes
 
flyoregon
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sat Jun 29, 2019 10:40 pm

When does the Portland pilot base open?
 
nws2002
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:42 am

flyoregon wrote:
When does the Portland pilot base open?


Reading on a pilot forum, it sounds like it isn't happening. The company and union were unable to come to an agreement.
 
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janders
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:30 pm

Just noticed their updated route map.

Sure looks different than years prior

Image
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
tys777
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:51 pm

Looks like they cut a bunch of seasonal stuff. It'll be interesting if they steal the dartboard from F9.
 
teachpdx
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:01 pm

I was impressed with my first trip on SY, doing PDX-STL return. Super reasonable fares, no surprises, and even though the service was only a week old at the time, the planes were nearly full.

They are definitely serving gaps in the PDX market, and for the low fares I’m sure they’re drawing from the SEA catchment as well.
Up Next: THIS YEAR IS CANCELLED!!!
 
sunking737
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:21 pm

Well, when you have 30 737 you got to fly someplace..Rumor 3 or 4 winter birds this upcoming winter. giving them 34 or so.
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
MNgopher
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:28 pm

They may be making money now, but time will tell...

Lots of grumbling again recently about poor customer service. Several last second cancellations and paltry sums for the inconvenience. Customer service unreachable with suggestions to call at 6AM to avoid having to wait hours to talk to someone.

Portland base for the pilots is out for now. Sounds like negotiations went nowhere to get it opened. Getting to be a rift between longer term Sun Country pilots and newer ones no longer content to be a MSP mostly, I'll take lower pay for quality of life to live here pilot(I know some will never get it, and that's OK). Part of the profit is coming from paying truly low wages for 737 pilots.. How long will that hold out?
 
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EstherLouise
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:09 pm

Gee whiz. That was awfully nice of them to leave paying customers stranded again.
712 722 732 734 737 738 741 742 744 752 762 772 A310 DC91 DC93 DC94 DC1030 DC1040 F100 MD82 MD83
 
MSPNWA
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:19 pm

Pretty clear that the new model is working, and it speaks to how poorly SY was run before. Finally some hope and a future for SY. Anecdotally I've been seeing healthy, but still inexpensive fares from them. You could say they're the only true LCC today, positioned in-between the majors and the ULCCs. There's still a lot of low-hanging fruit out there.
 
Scarebus34
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:53 pm

I wouldn't be so quick to say the new model is working - remember, they have cut costs dramatically which will of course lead to improved financials. However, their performance and customer service is severely lacking. Time will tell if they can sustain their current practices.
 
Jshank83
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:38 am

teachpdx wrote:
I was impressed with my first trip on SY, doing PDX-STL return. Super reasonable fares, no surprises, and even though the service was only a week old at the time, the planes were nearly full.

They are definitely serving gaps in the PDX market, and for the low fares I’m sure they’re drawing from the SEA catchment as well.


My parents flew STL-TPA and really enjoyed it also. I was supposed to be on the flight but work got in the way... Hopefully I get to check them out soon.
 
Varsity1
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:29 pm

Sunny has a 737 flying trans Atlantic right now. 8980 MSP-SNN. Any idea what this is for?

3670 miles direct. Pretty impressive for an NG.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:43 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
Sunny has a 737 flying trans Atlantic right now. 8980 MSP-SNN. Any idea what this is for?

3670 miles direct. Pretty impressive for an NG.


Probably a military charter positioning flight. Sun Country does quite a bit of charter work for the US Government in Europe and the Middle East.
 
sunking737
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:03 pm

SY just did a flight to Athens Greece, just last week. Plus a whole bunch of RNO / Hickman AFB
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
Varsity1
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:11 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
Sunny has a 737 flying trans Atlantic right now. 8980 MSP-SNN. Any idea what this is for?

3670 miles direct. Pretty impressive for an NG.


Probably a military charter positioning flight. Sun Country does quite a bit of charter work for the US Government in Europe and the Middle East.


They seem to have an extremely high level of etops/long range nav experience for a small 737 operator.

Another flight is operating LAX-HNL as we speak.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
MGC1191
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:35 pm

Change takes time.

Way to go Mr.Bricker, I’ve been rooting for you since my Allegiant days.
My words are my own and do not reflect my employer in any way, shape, or form.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:05 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
Sunny has a 737 flying trans Atlantic right now. 8980 MSP-SNN. Any idea what this is for?

3670 miles direct. Pretty impressive for an NG.


Probably a military charter positioning flight. Sun Country does quite a bit of charter work for the US Government in Europe and the Middle East.


They seem to have an extremely high level of etops/long range nav experience for a small 737 operator.

Another flight is operating LAX-HNL as we speak.


Sun Country actually flew to London as a regular passenger service from Minneapolis in the early 2010's. It is pretty interesting to see how they established themselves as an international charter operator since it is so different than the scheduled side of Sun Country.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -w-343214/
 
Varsity1
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:47 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:

Probably a military charter positioning flight. Sun Country does quite a bit of charter work for the US Government in Europe and the Middle East.


They seem to have an extremely high level of etops/long range nav experience for a small 737 operator.

Another flight is operating LAX-HNL as we speak.


Sun Country actually flew to London as a regular passenger service from Minneapolis in the early 2010's. It is pretty interesting to see how they established themselves as an international charter operator since it is so different than the scheduled side of Sun Country.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -w-343214/


I have to wonder if the tribal knowledge was passed down from their DC-10 days? Or too far removed?

Southwest found Hawaii to be a big achievement. SY has been straight up globe trotting in 737's.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
sunking737
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:05 am

Varsity1 wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
Varsity1 wrote:

They seem to have an extremely high level of etops/long range nav experience for a small 737 operator.

Another flight is operating LAX-HNL as we speak.


Sun Country actually flew to London as a regular passenger service from Minneapolis in the early 2010's. It is pretty interesting to see how they established themselves as an international charter operator since it is so different than the scheduled side of Sun Country.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -w-343214/


I have to wonder if the tribal knowledge was passed down from their DC-10 days? Or too far removed?

Southwest found Hawaii to be a big achievement. SY has been straight up globe trotting in 737's.


SY was in a bigger hurry to get ETOPS. The London flights happened for ETOPS as SY did a couple of trans pacific charters out to Japan and back to Mainland again for DOD ETOPS
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

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b747400erf
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:42 am

Get fat from government contracts that will not last forever. There are a few dead airlines that relied on the strategy until the government ended contracts or moved them to other carriers. You will not be ferrying troops to the Middle East every week forever even though some politicians are trying to keep it that way.
 
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diverdave
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:37 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue with their PDX expansion, particularly to the likes of MSY, Florida, and areas in the southeast for whom PDX is a notable hole.


I wonder how our friends at AS are liking their new co-habitator at PDX?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:09 am

diverdave wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue with their PDX expansion, particularly to the likes of MSY, Florida, and areas in the southeast for whom PDX is a notable hole.

I wonder how our friends at AS are liking their new co-habitator at PDX?

"Thank heaven it's not Delta again"....
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
UWPAviation
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Thu Jul 25, 2019 9:08 pm

Awesome, great for them. I would love to see them continue to expand in the Midwest, particularly enter MKE.
 
flyoregon
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Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:10 am

SY was on a roll with new adds, cities, and seemingly big plans. Anything new on the horizon for them?
 
MGC1191
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:53 am

They’ve been flying “Tide Pod 1” into CLT frequently for charters. It’s been a welcome splash of color. A proper flight would be a welcome sight.
My words are my own and do not reflect my employer in any way, shape, or form.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:33 am

Whatever it is it will probably surprise a lot of us on here.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
pmanni1
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 11:45 am

They should diversify their route structure and not run all of their connections through MSP. Who wants to go so out of the way from places like SAT,AUS,DFW,DEN,STL,BNA etc to MSP to connect to the east or west coasts or the Caribbean? F9 found success when they stopped focusing on DEN.
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:14 pm

Continued Allegiantification imho.

The 757 did not work for Allegiant but the 737 does for Sun Country.
It’s not rocket science to see where this is leading, and is a gamble that could always lead to some very interesting potential outcomes.

4 ULCC’s and WN just does not seem to make for a very profitable situation for everyone going forward
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
flyboyrj
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:45 pm

Hubbing LAN again?
 
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Veigar
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:56 pm

KlimaBXsst wrote:
Continued Allegiantification imho.

The 757 did not work for Allegiant but the 737 does for Sun Country.
It’s not rocket science to see where this is leading, and is a gamble that could always lead to some very interesting potential outcomes.

4 ULCC’s and WN just does not seem to make for a very profitable situation for everyone going forward



Would love to see a 757 in their livery, now that I think of it..
 
avgeekjohn
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:41 pm

Some additional destinations on the west coast seem in order. Sun Country already has a number of destinations in California, but I'd imagine that they might add services in other states in the region.
Holding short of life's runway
 
flyfresno
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Re: Sun Country’s next move

Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:23 pm

FAT-MSP and/or FAT-LAS?
 
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UPlog
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:33 pm

How long till DOT releases Q2 numbers. Be interesting to see if SY remains on a roll.
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janders
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:14 pm

Q2 numbers are out. Another solid period. Almost doubled margins versus 2018.

Cranky Flier has an interview with CEO and more details.

https://crankyflier.com/2019/09/19/as-p ... owth-plan/
"We make war that we may live in peace." -- Aristotle
 
ericm2031
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Re: Sun Country post record Q1 -- new biz model working?

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:20 pm

SBA-MSP is done for the season and supposedly won't be returning after being increased to 4x weekly this year from 2x weekly last year.

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