New Airline Arrival Brings Nonstop Flights to Portland, Minneapolis

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Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Las Vegas, Nevada.

BOSOX Photographix / Wikimedia Commons

Sun Country Airlines is San Antonio International Airport's newest carrier.

Within a week of news that a major airline is expanding nonstop service to Seattle, Sun Country Airlines announced Tuesday it would become San Antonio's newest carrier, providing direct flights to yet another city in the Pacific Northwest as well as the Midwest.

Starting in May, Sun Country Airlines will offer new nonstop service seasonally from San Antonio to Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and, come June, to Portland, Oregon (PDX), the latter being a first for the local airport. Aviation officials said Portland is one of the top five most unserved markets for San Antonio.

The airline will also provide connections through both cities for destinations that include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Anchorage, Alaska. One-way fares will start at $89.

“We’re excited to provide new low-cost air service to San Antonio residents and to bring more visitors to the Alamo City,” stated Ted Botimer, chief commercial officer for Sun Country Airlines. “Our focus on low fares and great customer service will be a great fit in this market, and we look forward to our continued partnership with the San Antonio aviation department.”

Sun Country's addition to the San Antonio International Airport is part of a larger network expansion, the airline announced this week – the largest increase of routes in the company’s history. The expansion includes 19 new routes and seven new airports. Along with San Antonio, new airports include Washington Dulles, Newark Liberty, Chicago O'Hare, Philadelphia, Sacramento, and T.F. Green in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sun Country Airlines, a privately-held company based in the twin cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, operated as a charter airline until 1999 when it launched scheduled service with 22 routes. In its recent expansion, Sun Country added new routes beyond its home base in June 2018, bringing on service from Dallas-Fort Worth, Madison, Wisconsin, Portland, and St. Louis, which increased direct routes in its network from 53 to 64. Nashville was added in August 2018, and after Tuesday’s announcement, the airline will have a total of 86 routes across 53 airports.

Like the airline, the San Antonio airport has been experiencing record growth in recent years. Sun Country is the San Antonio airport's 12th carrier, and the third new carrier added in the last three years. The airport also has added 35 new flights – air service to 19 new destinations as well as 16 flights added to existing markets served. The San Antonio International Airport now offers nonstop service to 54 destinations.

“We just concluded another unprecedented, record-breaking year in 2018, and this is a great way to get the 2019 New Year started,” stated Russ Handy, aviation director for the City of San Antonio. “We cannot be happier to welcome Sun Country Airlines as SAT’s newest air carrier, along with services to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Portland, Oregon.”

Sun Country's nonstop service to MSP starts May 23, and will be offered four times a week in roundtrips on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Nonstop service to PDX starts June 5 and will also run four times a week with roundtrips on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Tickets are available for purchase now at the airline's website.

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