Sun Country Airlines commenced a twice-weekly route between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Santa Barbara on 16 August, with the Californian airport’s Director, Hazel Johns (right), greeting passengers as they stepped off the inaugural service. The carrier will operate the 2,540-kilometre US domestic sector through until 9 December.
- Sun Country Airlines launched its latest route from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) on 16 August, a seasonal twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) service to Santa Barbara (SBA) in California. The airline will operate the 2,540-kilometre US domestic airport pair using its fleet of 737-800s on a seasonal basis, with the last flight currently scheduled to depart on 9 December. No other carrier presently operates a regular scheduled service between the two cities. With this launch, Sun Country offers six routes to California from Minneapolis-St. Paul on either a seasonal or year-round basis, with it already operating flights to Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Rosa. Based on OAG Traffic Analyser data, over 11,000 passengers travelled indirectly between Minneapolis-St. Paul and Santa Barbara in 2017, with American Airlines being the largest carrier in the indirect market, responsible for flying over 51% of this demand on its services last year. A further breakdown of the travelling patterns between the two US airports highlights that 44% of the 11,000 travellers flew between August and December 2017, the period in which Sun Country is operating the route this year.