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Amazon Strikes A Sweet Deal With Sun Country Airlines

Amazon Strikes A Sweet Deal With Sun Country Airlines
Taylor Rains

Minneapolis-based carrier Sun Country Airlines just struck a sweet deal with shipping leader, Amazon. Beginning in quarter two of 2020, Sun Country pilots will be flying 10 leased Boeing 737-800 freighters dedicated to expanding Amazon Air.

A year ago, Sun Country CEO, Jude Bricker, approached Amazon about selling them a used Boeing 737, but nothing came of it. However, a few months ago, the e-commerce giant went back to Sun Country to pitch a new idea about the airline flying their freighters. Sun Country, who originally had no plans to expand into cargo, saw a high potential for profit and eagerly agreed. Amazon will own the aircraft and determine the routes, while Sun Country will fly the planes under its own operating certificate during a six-year contract.

Currently, Amazon relies on Atlas Air and ATSG to fly its cargo and has been looking for other airlines to partner with as well. This move for Amazon is business as usual, while Sun Country sees it as a way to achieve “rapid growth without a lot of capital investment.” Sun Country follows a similar business model to Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant, so the airline sees this new venture as an innovative way to stand out, expand, and turn a profit. Bricker explained, “we don’t want to be the fourth to do the same kind of flying that they are doing.”

The timing of this new partnership could not be more perfect for Sun Country. A bulk of the airline’s quarter one profit comes from the high traffic of Minnesotans escaping the winter weather in January and February. The new contract begins quarter two, just as the lag starts when there is less flying to do, so the carrier can fill the gaps with the Amazon Air operation. Bricker said, “It helps us balance our seasonality.”

The CEO is very excited about this new opportunity with Amazon. He said in a statement, “There is absolutely a need to do things differently. We try to rethink everything.”

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