Sun Country Offers Second $79-Fare Sale in a Month

Sun Country Airlines' "Winter-Is-Just-Around-the-Corner" sale features one-way fares starting at $79, and comes on the heels of a similar-and successful-promotion last month.

Less than a month after Sun Country Airlines launched a limited-time offer of one-way fares starting at $79, the Mendota Heights-based company is offering another series of discounted flights.

Sun Country on Monday announced its “Winter-Is-Just-Around-the-Corner” sale-on the heels of success from an almost identical sale called the “Everyone-Must-Go Sale,” which it offered last month.

The sale announced Monday features fares that start at $79 one way, and they are available immediately. The fares must be booked by October 20 and apply to travel between January 4 and February 15.

The $79 rate applies to one-way travel from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Lansing, Michigan and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

Sun Country is also offering tickets priced between $99 and $119 to the following locations: Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Palm Springs, California; New York City; Harlingen/South Padre Island, Texas; and Orlando and Fort Myers, Florida.

The winter sale represents an average savings of 32 percent on tickets, according to Wendy Blackshaw, Sun Country's vice president of marketing.

The airline is also featuring some discounted fares-beginning at $99 for one-way tickets-for travel between now and December 21. Those tickets must be booked by October 16.

The company didn't disclose how many customers took part in the Everyone-Must-Go sale, but Blackshaw told Twin Cities Business on Monday that the promotion triggered a notable “uptick in revenue.” She said that fall is traditionally a slower time for the airline, so the company tends to offer more travel incentives during that period.

For the winter flights, Blackshaw said that the promotion will encourage travelers to book early, which will reduce the need for last-minute fare sales.”And a lot of business travelers are starting to find us,” Blackshaw said, due in part to recently added “non-leisure destinations” like New York City and Washington, D.C.

Sun Country was sold to the Davis family, Minnesotans who own Cambria Holdings and Davisco Foods, in July. The sale-which reportedly carried a price tag of $34 million-came several months after Sun Country emerged from bankruptcy.

Blackshaw said that Sun Country's recently announced promotions are unique in that customers typically see last-minute sales. She said that the new initiatives didn't stem from the airline's recent sale to the Davis family, as “they're not involved on a day-to-day basis.”

Sun Country reported profits of $13 million last year after combined losses of nearly $60 million in 2007 and 2008, followed by a $1.4 million profit in 2009, according to a July report by the Star Tribune. The company employs more than 800 and flies to more than 30 year-round and seasonal destinations, in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.