Sun Country strikes deal with Amazon to fly cargo aircraft

The Eagan-based airline is expanding its operations.
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An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767, which is larger than the 737-800s Sun Country will fly.

An Amazon Prime Air Boeing 767, which is larger than the 737-800s Sun Country will fly.

After a year in which it has pushed ahead with a considerable expansion of its passenger routes, Sun Country is now announcing its first foray into cargo flights.

The Eagan-based airline has confirmed a partnership with Amazon, which will see it become part of the online retail giant's Amazon Air network.

Sun Country will lease 10 Boeing 737-800 converted freighter aircraft from Amazon as part of the deal, which it will operate on behalf of Amazon Air.

Amazon will use the Sun Country network to boost its efforts to provide next-day delivery.

Describing it as a "first-of-its-kind partnership for a scheduled service passenger airline," Sun Country CEO Jude Bricker said the partnership is a "unique opportunity to significantly grow our airline."

"Sun Country is on an incredible growth path, and our secret sauce lies in our ability to run an ever-changing schedule across different areas of our business, including scheduled service, charter and cargo," he said.

"While the past two years have been focused on scheduled service growth, this exciting opportunity gives us a chance to diversify even further. We look forward to working with our great partners at Amazon on this new venture."

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The addition of the 10 planes will bring the size of Sun Country's Boeing 737-800 fleet to 39 aircraft, and with the planes to be based at MSP Airport, the company says it will also bring a jobs boost to the Twin Cities.

"The airline will be hiring 20 percent more pilots in 2020, as well as additional maintenance and operations support staff," a company press release said.

Flights for Amazon will start in the second half of 2020.

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