Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Sun Country is no longer Minnesota-owned

The airline has been sold to a New York group.

The Essentials

1. Sun Country is changing hands. The current owners agreed to sell the Eagan-based airline to a New York investment group known as Apollo Global Management, they announced Thursday.

2. The headquarters will stay in Minnesota, according to the announcement, and Jude Bricker (who came over from budget airline Allegiant in July) will keep his job as the CEO. 

3. Sun Country moves 2.5 million passengers a year (about the 17th highest figure in the U.S.), and is the "largest privately-held fully independent airline" in the U.S., the release says. 

The Big Picture

Sun Country was founded in 1982 by Twin Cities area pilots and flight attendants. Its most recent owners are Minnesota's Davis family (specifically Marty and Mitch), tapped by Forbes as one of the country's wealthiest names.

The company has made a point to embrace its Minnesota-ness, naming all of its planes after state lakes (with custom artwork) and bringing local craft beer onboard.

Sun Country even calls itself "Minnesota's Hometown Airline."

But it does feel like there's an identity shift happening, with this sale being the latest sign.

Once it goes through (which is expected to happen in the first quarter of 2018), you could argue Sun Country loses some of its homegrown feel (even if out-of-state owners isn't unprecedented).

And the airline reportedly has plans to shift to an "ultra low cost" model – think like Spirit or Frontier, where seats are cheap and you get charged for everything beyond that. 

For example, there's that new policy charging flyers to use overhead bins (which starts mid-January) 

Chairman Marty Davis (the one selling to the investment group) sees a growth opportunity though, saying in the announcement he's "confident the company is well-positioned for continued expansion and its evolution beyond its Minnesota base.”

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.

ambulance

Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,

Related

Sun Country abandons MSP passengers in Mexico

The Minnesota airline has left some customers stranded.

Sun Country is dropping its plan for Minnesota-to-Cuba flights

They got the OK for non-stop flights but hadn't started them.

Passengers recount their Sun Country travel nightmares

Some are still waiting to get back from Mexico and domestic destinations.

Sun Country is cutting 350 jobs at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport

It's outsourcing ground service responsibilities to a contractor.

6 Sun Country flights were canceled, no one told passengers

It was because of a glitch in the airline's new technology.

Sun Country is reportedly moving toward being an ultra low cost airline – is that smart?

But is it smart? Here's what people think of the current budget airlines.

Sun Country considers moving HQ from Eagan to MSP Airport

The airline is looking to consolidate its Twin Cities presence into fewer facilities.

Prime air plane

Sun Country strikes deal with Amazon to fly cargo aircraft

The Eagan-based airline is expanding its operations.