Sun Country Airlines has carved a niche for itself in the aviation industry as a budget-friendly carrier with a keen focus on customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, aboard its all Boeing 737 fleet. Read about Sun Country and N713SY, a Boeing 737, then grab one for your PlaneTags collection at planetags.com.
Sun Country Airlines is an American low-cost airline headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1982, it primarily operates scheduled and charter flights, focusing on flying passengers to warmer destinations across the United States, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Sun Country is known for its use of Boeing 737 aircraft and its adaptable business model that has allowed it to thrive as a budget-friendly airline.
N713SY Sun Country Airlines 2000 Boeing 737-7Q8 (cn 30635) flickr photo by TDelCoro shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license
Founded in 1982 by a group of former Braniff International Airways employees, Sun Country Airlines started as a small charter airline. Based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, the airline was born out of a simple yet ambitious vision: to offer affordable and enjoyable flights to leisure destinations. The early years were marked by a focus on charter flights, primarily for vacation packages, which helped Sun Country establish its foothold in the industry.
The 1990s marked a period of expansion for Sun Country. The airline transitioned from solely offering charter flights to incorporating scheduled services. This was a strategic move to tap into the burgeoning market for leisure travel to sunnier climes like Florida and Mexico. However, the early 2000s brought unforeseen challenges. The aftermath of the September 11 attacks hit the airline industry hard, and Sun Country was not spared. The airline went through bankruptcy in 2001 but emerged resilient.
The 2010s saw Sun Country reinvent itself. Embracing the low-cost carrier model, it realigned its operational strategies. This meant route restructuring, fleet modernization, and a keen focus on cost-efficiency. Sun Country's adaptability was not just about survival; it was about thriving in a competitive market.
Travel destinations by Sun Country, from suncountry.com, January 2024
Over the years, Sun Country Airlines has significantly expanded its route network, evolving from a small carrier into a prominent low-cost airline with a broad array of destinations. Initially focusing on flights from its Minneapolis-St. Paul base to warmer climates in the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean, Sun Country strategically broadened its horizons to include a diverse range of domestic and international routes. This expansion saw the addition of key cities across the United States, from coast to coast, as well as increased service to vacation hotspots in Central America and the Caribbean. The airline capitalized on seasonal travel trends, offering more options for winter getaways to sunnier destinations and summer escapes to popular U.S. attractions. In recent years, Sun Country has also ventured into new markets, including routes to Canada and expanded services to leisure destinations, offering affordable travel options without compromising on service quality.
Sun Country Airlines' decision to operate an all-Boeing 737 fleet, including aircraft like N713SY, was strategically grounded in the airline's mission to provide affordable, reliable, and efficient service to its passengers. The Boeing 737, known for its operational efficiency, versatility, and economic performance, perfectly aligned with Sun Country's low-cost business model. This single-type fleet approach allowed for streamlined pilot training, maintenance procedures, and operational flexibility, significantly reducing operational complexities and costs. Additionally, the 737's capacity and range capabilities made it ideal for Sun Country's mix of domestic and international routes, from short-haul flights to popular vacation destinations to longer routes connecting passengers to the sunny beaches of Mexico and the Caribbean. By focusing on the 737, Sun Country could offer competitive fares and maintain high service standards, ensuring a consistent and enjoyable travel experience for its customers. This strategic choice underscored Sun Country's commitment to operational excellence and customer satisfaction, enabling the airline to thrive as a focused, efficient carrier.
Photo courtesy of suncountry.com
An all Boeing 737 fleet offers numerous advantages for a low-cost airline like Sun Country, making it an ideal choice for their operational model:
Our plane began its life in 2000, registered as N461LF and delivered to International Lease Finance Corporation in November 2000. On January 18, 2000 it joined the Líneas Aéreas Privadas Argentinas. Within two years, it had been re-registered as PR-SAF and was then operating with Rio Sul Serviços Aéreos Regionais. Two months later, in September 2002, it was with Varig Airlines, registered as PR-SAF. After serving Varig for several years, it was registered once again, this time as PR-GIL and now flying with GOL Transportes Aereos.
On October 25, 2011, this aircraft was re-registered for the final time, as N713SY, and delivered to Sun Country Airlines. A change in ownership that same year and one in 2017 led to the transformation into the award winning ultra low cost carrier that it is today. During the years N713SY flew with Sun Country, the airline meticulously honed its service and expanded its route network, exclusively utilizing its all-Boeing 737 fleet to offer passengers affordable and enjoyable travel options. N713SY retired and was stored at MZJ in 2023.
"We spotted the bright blue paint on this plane and knew that we - and our tagnatics - would love it in our collections," says MotoArt owner Dave Hall, recalling the day he spotted N713SY at Pinal Air Park last Fall.
Sun Country Boeing 737 PlaneTags, made from the actual skin of N713SY, will be released on Thursday, February 8, 2024. They are numbered in a series of 7,500 and will be available initially in the following colors:
The Boeing 737, a pivotal aircraft in commercial aviation, embarked on its maiden flight on April 9, 1967, marking the beginning of what would become the most widely sold commercial jetliner in aviation history. In a unique homage to this iconic aircraft, Boeing 737 PlaneTags have become cherished collectibles. Crafted from the skin of decommissioned Boeing 737 aircraft, these PlaneTags not only celebrate the remarkable legacy of the 737 but also offer aviation enthusiasts a tangible piece of aviation history. Check out some of our 737 PlaneTags from the past.