Sun Country Airlines sees record revenue in 2023

The tails of five parked Sun Country Airlines aircraft.
Photo Credit: Sun Country

Sun Country Airlines Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCY) has reported its financial performance for the fourth quarter and full year ending December 31, 2023.

The results showcase the company’s robust business model and showed that the airline surpassed $1 billion revenue for the first time.

Sun Country saw record revenue, boasting a remarkable 7.0% GAAP operating income margin and a 7.4% adjusted operating income margin for the fourth quarter.

Record-Breaking Results

Jude Bricker, the Chief Executive Officer of Sun Country, expressed satisfaction with the company’s achievements in the past year.

“We are excited that Sun Country’s uniquely diversified business model, and the efforts of our outstanding employees, produced another strong quarter, with record revenue, a 7.0% GAAP operating income margin and a 7.4% adjusted operating income margin,” said Bricker.

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Cost control measures were also evident, with adjusted CASM falling by 2.2% compared to the same period in 2022.

For the full year, Sun Country surpassed the $1 billion revenue mark for the first time, achieving a GAAP operating income margin of 12.1% and an adjusted operating income margin of 13.0%, the highest on record.

The company’s GAAP net income for the year stood at an impressive $72.2 million, reflecting a significant year-over-year growth in total block hours and revenue.

A Sun Country Airlines Boeing parked under a blue sky.
Photo Credit: Sun Country Airlines

Strategic Fleet Expansion

As of December 31, 2023, Sun Country’s passenger service fleet comprised 42 aircraft, alongside 12 freighter aircraft in its cargo division and six aircraft leased to unaffiliated airlines.

The company’s commitment to growth is further evidenced by its recent acquisition of a 737-800, leased to Fly Dubai until the fourth quarter of 2024, with plans to acquire another 737-800 by the end of February 2024.

These strategic fleet additions are poised to bolster Sun Country’s operational capacity and market presence.

A Sun Country Airlines jet climbs after takeoff.
Photo Credit: Sun Country Airlines

Financial Fortitude

Dave Davis, President and Chief Financial Officer, expressed satisfaction with Sun Country’s financial performance, noting a full-year GAAP pre-tax margin of 9.0% and an adjusted pre-tax margin of 9.9%, positioning the company as a leader in the industry.

Despite significant Capex spending in 2023, primarily for additional aircraft, Sun Country anticipates lower Capex levels in 2024, thanks to the expected efficiency gains from its recent fleet acquisitions.

“We expect these aircraft to provide almost all of the passenger lift we need through 2025, resulting in much lower capex levels in 2024,” noted Davis.

Robust Operational Performance

Sun Country’s operational metrics for 2023 reflect substantial growth across key indicators. System block hours flown during the fourth quarter increased by 10.4% year over year, with scheduled service ASMs rising by 14.9%.

Notably, charter block hours saw a significant uptick, driven by continued growth in long-term contract flying. For the full year, system block hours grew by 9.8%, fueled by increases in scheduled service, cargo, and charter block hours.

Community Engagement and Partnerships

Sun Country’s dedication to its community is exemplified by its recent partnership as the Official Airline of the University of Minnesota Gopher Athletics.

Strengthening ties with the Minnesota community underscores the airline’s commitment to local engagement and support.

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Sun Country Airlines has reported its full-year performance, showing it posted record revenue for 2023 off a robust business model.
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