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Sun Country launches new route to Vancouver

Ribbon cuttingSun Country Airlines built its reputation at MSP Airport flying to warm southern destinations – typically Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean – during the cold Minnesota winters. On Wednesday (June 15), the hometown airline of nearly four decades headed north to Canada for the first time.

Sun Country will fly directly to Vancouver twice a week from MSP on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the summer into September.   

"After 40 years this is our first scheduled service flight to Canada – we're so thrilled to be adding Vancouver as a nonstop destination in the Pacific Northwest," said Brian Davis, chief marketing officer for Sun Country.

Davis, Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) Chief Operating Officer Roy Fuhrmann, and Carl Pilon of the Consulate General of Canada office in Minneapolis marked the inaugural flight with a celebration at Terminal 2 – including donuts and Sun Country's mascot.

"Any day that begins with Sunny Bear and donuts is a good day," said Davis.

It marked the third new flight celebration in as many weeks at MSP as travel continues to rebound. On June 1, Air Canada launched a new daily, year-round route between MSP and Montreal and Condor Airlines resumed its seasonal nonstop flights to Frankfurt, Germany, after a two-year hiatus.

Pilon noted that Vancouver, British Columbia, has something for everyone, including mountains, ocean beaches and nearby rain forests.

"Vancouver is a haven for cosmopolitan travelers and outdoor enthusiasts alike," said Pilon. "We hope that Minnesotans and Canadians will take this opportunity to hop on a plane and go visit one another to discover all that they share from a history that stretches back millennia."

Passenger traffic at MSP is currently at about 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2019. But leisure travel at MSP actually exceeds pre-pandemic levels in 2019 largely due to Sun Country's growth, according to Brian Peters, director of Air Service Development for the MAC.

Earlier this year, Sun Country announced seven new flights (including to Vancouver) from MSP. Sun Country's passenger market share at MSP grew to nearly 10 percent in 2021 – up from 7.5 percent in 2019.

"We appreciate the partnership of everybody that it takes to make a flight like this one to Vancouver possible," said Fuhrmann.