Why Is Sun Country Airlines So Cheap? Gain insight into their Business Model and Strategies.
Sun Country Airlines is an established low-cost carrier (LCC) offering budget air travel for three decades. Many wonder how Sun Country can offer such low fares while providing quality service and a secure flying experience. In this article, we’ll look closer at Sun Country’s business model and strategies that enable it to keep costs low while remaining competitive within the airline industry. Sun Country operates Boeing 737-800 and 737-700 aircraft out of Minneapolis-St Paul. It targets weekend travelers to Las Vegas, so this should be considered when booking with them.It seems cheap because you only get what you have paid for, and nothing else. Everything you want more comes with a price tag. But still it is inexpensive.
History of Sun Country Airlines
Sun Country was established in 1982 as a leisure-focused airline with four aircraft. Unfortunately, it was acquired by Petters Group Worldwide in 2006, leading to financial issues and bankruptcy in 2008. The restructuring was finally successful in 2010 under new ownership as Sun Country significantly expanded its route network and fleet.
Sun Country’s Business Model<extra_id_-19> Sun Country operates as a low-cost hybrid carrier (LCC) and ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC). Their model relies on offering low fares while generating ancillary revenue through fees for baggage, seat selection, and other optional services. Sun Country’s ULCC strategy strives to keep costs low through simplified operations, point-to-point routes, and primary service levels.
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Strategies for Controlling Costs
Sun Country employs several strategies to keep costs low, such as aircraft and route selection, ancillary revenue streams, operational efficiency, and labor costs. For example, their fleet of Boeing 737s and 737 MAX aircraft offers fuel efficiency and route planning flexibility. In addition, sun Country generates revenue through fees for baggage handling, seat selection, and other optional services while keeping a lean workforce with high operational efficiency levels.
Sun Country’s Fleet
Sun Country operates a fleet of Boeing 737s and 737 MAX aircraft. The airline prioritized simplicity in their aircraft selection, choosing one type for efficient maintenance and training. Furthermore, these aircraft are flexible regarding route planning; this enables Sun Country to adjust capacity according to demand.
Sun Country’s Network and Route Structure
Sun Country offers flights to over 50 domestic and international destinations, primarily leisure-oriented ones. It operates in four hub cities: Minneapolis-St Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Portland, Oregon. Over time Sun Country’s route network has grown and developed according to market demand, adding new destinations while adjusting capacity based on that demand.
Sun Country’s Marketing and Sales Strategies
Sun Country’s marketing and sales strategies encompass pricing management, distribution channels, marketing/advertising campaigns, and customer engagement. Their pricing policy is determined by demand and competition, with fares adjusted according to market conditions. Furthermore, the airline utilizes distribution channels like direct sales through its website and partnerships with online travel agencies. Furthermore, they engage customers through social media, loyalty programs, and personalized marketing campaigns.
Customer Experience and Service
Sun Country provides a basic level of service on its flights, with seat selection, food service, and beverage service available at an additional fee. In-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi access are also available on some aircraft. Sun Country’s customer service and support teams strive for timely responses to inquiries or issues from passengers. Furthermore, the airline boasts an impressive safety record while abiding by industry regulations.
Sun Country’s Financial Performance
Sun Country has experienced consistent revenue and profit growth over the last several years, boasting solid financial metrics compared to other airlines in LCC and ULCC segments. Furthermore, they have invested in expanding their route network and fleet with plans for further expansion.
Sun Country’s Competition and Market Positioning
Sun Country competes with other LCCs and ULCCs in the airline industry, such as Southwest, Frontier, and Spirit. The airline has a unique positioning as a leisure-focused carrier with an attractive leisure offering.
Sun Country Vacations’ focus on serving vacation destinations has earned it a favorable brand perception and reputation, with higher customer satisfaction ratings than many competitors.
Sun Country’s Challenges and Risks
Sun Country faces several challenges and risks inherent to the airline industry, such as economic and market factors, competition from other airlines and transportation modes, operational-safety risks, and regulatory/legal matters. External factors such as fuel price changes, demand fluctuations, and downturns in economic activity affect revenue and profitability. Furthermore, Sun Country must contend with LCCs/ULCCs from other LCCs/ULCCs and alternative transportation modes like driving or rail travel.
Future Outlook and Opportunities for Sun Country
Sun Country still has several growth and expansion prospects in the future, despite challenges and risks. The airline plans to continue expanding its route network and fleet with an eye toward new leisure destinations and additional aircraft orders. Furthermore, Sun Country can benefit from advances in technology and automation, which streamline operations while cutting costs. Moreover, Sun Country is well positioned to take advantage of growing leisure travel demand as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Low-cost airlines, or budget or discount airlines, have seen tremendous growth over the last several decades. There are several reasons why cheap flights are becoming increasingly popular with travelers.
Affordability: Cheap airlines have grown tremendously due to their focus on affordability. By cutting costs and offering essential services at lower costs than traditional carriers, low-cost airlines can offer significantly lower fares than their traditional counterparts, making air travel more accessible and budget friendly for a broader segment of people – particularly leisure travelers and budget-conscious buyers.
Expansion of Routes: Low-cost airlines have expanded their routes to various destinations. While initially focused on domestic routes, many now provide international connections. This expansion has made air travel more accessible for more people and opened up new tourism markets.
Improved Technology: New technologies and creative business models have allowed low-cost airlines to reduce costs and boost efficiency. Airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet have implemented paperless ticketing and self-check-in kiosks, eliminating operational expenses and waiting times for passengers. That has resulted in greater efficiency for the airlines, which can be passed on to passengers through lower fares.
Consumer Preferences: Low-cost airlines have seen an uptick in growth due to changes in consumer preferences. Many travelers now prioritize finding affordable airfares over the quality of in-flight services, enabling these low-cost carriers to attract a large customer base with their competitive fares and essential service.
Cheap Airlines vs. Full Service Planes! What you Can Expect and What Not!
When it comes to air travel, passengers have the option of cheap airlines or full-service flights. While both options have benefits and drawbacks, passengers must understand what can be expected from each type of airline.
Cheap Airlines: Low-cost carriers (LCCs) or ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) are known for their affordable fares and a basic level of service. Passengers should expect to pay extra for additional services like baggage handling, seat selection, and food/beverages. While some offer in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi onboard, many do not. Furthermore, comfort levels on budget flights may be lower than on full-service ones with less legroom and narrower seats.
Budget-minded travelers who don’t mind giving up some comforts for lower fares often turn to cheap airlines as a great option. Many of these budget airlines boast extensive route networks, making air travel more accessible to more people. Plus, some offer loyalty programs and other perks for frequent flyers.
Full-Service Flights: Full-service flights, also called legacy carriers, offer a more extensive level of service than cheap airlines. Passengers can enjoy complimentary meals and beverages, inflight entertainment, and spacious cabins on these flights. Furthermore, full-service airlines typically have different classes of service, such as first-class or business class, which provide additional amenities and services.
However, full-service flights tend to be pricier than budget airlines, and passengers may have fewer route networks available than cheap airlines. Furthermore, some full-service airlines charge fees for baggage or other optional services, which could increase the overall cost of traveling.
Booking cheap airlines may come with hidden fees.
When booking a cheap airline, it is essential to be aware of potential hidden charges not included in the advertised fare. Low-cost carriers (LCCs) and ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) are known for offering low base fares; however, many airlines generate revenue through additional fees for optional services.
Here are some standard hidden fees to be aware of when booking a cheap airline:
Baggage Fees: Many budget airlines charge for checked baggage, carry-on bags, and overweight or oversized items. These costs can add up quickly and significantly increase the cost of your trip.
Seat Selection Fees: Some budget airlines charge fees for seat selection, particularly those with extra legroom or other amenities. If you opt out of paying the fee, be prepared if you end up with an unsatisfactory seat or be assigned one at check-in anyway – either with less desirable seating or no choice at all!
In-Flight Food and Beverage Fees: Many budget airlines charge for food and drinks on board, such as water or soft drinks. Suppose you’re traveling for an extended period or have specific dietary needs. In that case, you may have to bring your snacks or pay extra for onboard snacks and meals.
Priority Boarding Fees: Some budget airlines offer priority boarding for an additional fee, which can be beneficial if you need to board the plane early and secure overhead bin space for your carry-on bag.
Booking and Payment Fees: Some low-cost airlines charge fees for booking and payment methods, such as using a credit card or making a reservation over the phone.
To avoid unpleasant fees when booking a low-cost airline, read through their terms and conditions carefully and be aware of what is included and not included in the advertised fare. Be sure to factor in additional costs when comparing airline prices, then decide if those extra services are worth paying for. By being aware of potential hidden charges and planning accordingly, you can save money and avoid unpleasant surprises when booking cheap airfare.
10 Best Global Competitions of Sun Country in Cheap Airlines
- Spirit Airlines: A (ULCC) based in the United States operates flights throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
- Frontier Airlines: Frontier Airlines is a Denver-based ULCC that provides flights throughout North America, focusing on leisure destinations.
- Allegiant Air: It is a leisure-focused ULCC that operates flights throughout the US, emphasizing smaller airports and vacation spots.
- Southwest Airlines: Southwest Airlines is a primary low-cost carrier headquartered in the United States that operates flights throughout North America, emphasizing point-to-point routes and low fares.
- JetBlue: JetBlue, an LCC headquartered in the United States, operates flights throughout North America, Central America, and the Caribbean with an emphasis on customer service and amenities.
- Ryanair: Ryanair is an Irish ULCC that operates flights throughout Europe and North Africa, intending to offer low fares and efficient operations.
- EasyJet: EasyJet is a UK-based LCC offering flights across Europe and North Africa at competitive prices with excellent customer convenience in mind.
- Wizz Air: Wizz Air is a Hungarian ULCC that operates flights throughout Europe and the Middle East, emphasizing low fares and point-to-point routes.
- Vueling: Vueling is a Spanish LCC offering flights throughout Europe and North Africa at competitive prices with excellent customer convenience.
- AirAsia: AirAsia is a Malaysian low-cost carrier operating flights throughout Asia and Australia to offer competitive fares and superior operational efficiency.
These ten airlines are some of the primary rivals to Sun Country Airlines in the low-cost carrier market. Each has its unique business model and strategies for keeping costs low while offering affordable fares to passengers.
Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines are two ULCCs that offer very low fares but charge additional fees for many optional services, similar to Sun Country. Allegiant Air is another leisure-oriented ULCC that serves smaller airports and vacation spots. On the other hand, Southwest Airlines provides a more comprehensive level of service compared to ULCCs while still focusing on low fares and point-to-point routes.
JetBlue, Ryanair, easyJet, Wizz Air, Vueling, and AirAsia are all low-cost carriers (LCCs) operating across various global regions. While these airlines provide various services and amenities to passengers, all prioritize keeping costs down with competitive fares.
Competition in the low-cost carrier market is fierce, and airlines must constantly adjust their strategies to stay ahead. Sun Country Airlines’ unique positioning as a leisure-focused airline helps it stand out from rivals and retains loyal customers. But to remain ahead in an ever-evolving industry, Sun Country must continue to innovate and enhance its services.
Sun Country Airlines vs. Spirit Airlines
Both low-cost carriers operate throughout North America, offering affordable fares to their passengers. However, while both offer similar business models, services, and fees to their passengers, there are subtle distinctions in their operations.
Business Model: Sun Country Airlines operates as a hybrid LCC/ULCC, providing basic service with some additional amenities at an additional fee. It focuses on leisure destinations from four focus cities. On the other hand, Spirit Airlines is a ULCC that charges very low base fares but for virtually all additional services, such as seat selection and carry-on bags.
Services: Sun Country Airlines provides a more comprehensive service level than Spirit Airlines. As one free carry-on bag, inflight entertainment, and complimentary soft drinks and snacks on all flights, Sun Country offers more features at no additional charge. In contrast, Spirit charges for all bags and beverages but does not provide in-flight entertainment. Both airlines provide the option to purchase additional services, but Sun Country’s basic level is far superior to Spirit’s.
Fees: Both airlines charge fees for many optional services, though the types and amounts vary. Sun Country Airlines charges fees for baggage, seat selection, and other related items. In contrast, Spirit Airlines charges almost all fees – from carry-on bags to printing boarding passes at the airport. Ultimately, Spirit Airlines’ fees can add up quickly – sometimes making the actual cost of a trip higher than advertised.
Sun Country Airlines and Delta Air Lines
Both airlines serve the North American market, but their business models, services, and target markets differ significantly.
Business Model: Delta Air Lines is a primary legacy carrier that operates globally, offering premium cabins, lounge access, and in-flight meals. Delta operates out of multiple hubs with extensive route networks that span domestic and international destinations. On the other hand, Sun Country acts as both an LCC and ULCC, targeting low fares while generating revenue through fees for baggage handling, seat selection, and other optional services. Their business model revolves around serving leisure destinations while upholding basic service levels.
Services: Delta Air Lines provides passengers with a comprehensive suite of services, such as several classes of service, in-flight meals and beverages, Wi-Fi access, and a loyalty program. Their premium cabins feature flatbed seats, on-demand entertainment options, and luxury amenities. On the other hand, Sun Country provides more fundamental levels of comfort; its in-flight amenities and services are limited compared to Delta’s. Although Sun Country does have a loyalty program in place, it is to a different extent.
Target Market: Delta Air Lines caters to a wide range of travelers, such as business travelers, frequent flyers, and leisure travelers. Their extensive route network and comprehensive services cater to different segments within the market. On the other hand, Sun Country Airlines primarily targets leisure travelers looking for affordable air travel to vacation spots. Therefore, their focus on leisure destinations and a basic level of service reflects their target market.
Sun Country Airlines’ business model and strategies have enabled it to offer budget-friendly air travel to passengers while maintaining quality service and a secure flying experience. Through simplicity, operational efficiency, and revenue diversification, the airline has managed to keep costs low and stay competitive within the airline industry. As a result, sun Country will face challenges and opportunities for growth and innovation as it continues to expand its route network and fleet size.
What fees does Sun Country charge?
There are fees for baggage, seat selection, food and beverage purchases, as well as other optional services.
How does Sun Country stack up against low-cost carriers like Spirit and Frontier?
Sun Country stands out with its leisure-focused attitude, basic level of service, and focus on vacation destinations. However, Sun Country provides a more comprehensive experience at higher costs compared to Spirit and Frontier.
Does Sun Country offer in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi?
Yes, some aircraft are equipped with both.
Can I bring my food and drinks on board Sun Country flights?
Yes, passengers can bring their beverages onboard Sun Country flights.
Does Sun Country offer loyalty programs or rewards for frequent flyers?
The airline offers Sun Country Rewards, which provides various perks and benefits to frequent fliers.
What is the maximum size allowed for carry-on bags on Sun Country flights? On Sun Country flights, carry-on bags cannot exceed 24 inches wide by 16 inches high by 11 inches deep.
How does Sun Country ensure safety and adherence to regulations? Sun Country strives to maintain an excellent safety record. It adheres to industry regulations by performing regular maintenance checks, conducting employee training programs, and adhering to industry standards.
Does Sun Country have any partnerships with other airlines or travel companies?
Sun Country has established relationships with several airline and travel companies such as Delta, Alaska Airlines, and Hertz.
Can I book a Sun Country flight through third-party websites like Expedia or Kayak?
Sun Country flights can be booked through third-party websites like Expedia and Kayak.
Does Sun Country offer discounts to active military personnel or veterans?
Yes, they offer special promotions for active military personnel and veterans, such as free checked bags and reduced fares.