US low-cost carrier Sun Country Airlines will expand its passenger fleet in late 2024 and 2025 with the acquisition of five Boeing 737-900ER aircraft.
Under terms of the deal, Sun Country will acquire current leases for the five aircraft which will remain on lease to Oman Air until the leases begin to expire in late 2024 and through 2025.
Sun Country will then take delivery of one aircraft in late 2024 and the other four throughout 2025.
Lease acquisition from Oman Air
The purchase of the Boeing aircraft under their existing leases is advantageous to Sun Country for several reasons.
This transaction demonstrates Sun Country’s ability to opportunistically acquire aircraft in a tight market at favorable economic terms while providing fleet growth certainty through 2025.
Acquiring five aircraft of the same variant guarantees sufficient scale to be efficient in Sun Country’s existing fleet of 737-800s.
In terms of potential uplift, the Boeing 737-900ER offers more seat capacity than the current fleet 737-800s and can fly a longer range.
Sun Country will deploy capital to acquire the aircraft today while receiving lease revenue though 2025. The acquisition will be financed through a credit facility with MUFG Union Bank.
Finally, used aircraft induction lead times have been challenged by supply chain constraints and engineering support.
This transaction allows Sun Country to minimize the transition time of modifying the aircraft and induction into revenue service.
Summarising the benefits of the acquisition, Jude Bricker, CEO of Sun Country said: “The 737-900ER will be a great addition to our fleet.”
“Relative to our 737-800 aircraft, it will increase the number of seats without a reduction in range or take-off performance. This transaction demonstrates our ability to find creative ways to source the right aircraft in any market environment.”
About Sun Country Airlines
Sun Country Airlines is a low-cost airline based in the United States. It was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The airline maintains a focus on serving leisure and visiting friends and relatives (“VFR”) passengers and charter customers and providing CMI service to Amazon, with flights throughout the United States and to destinations in Mexico, Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Sun Country Airlines operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800 and 737-700 aircraft. The airline has a two-class configuration on its flights, including first class and economy class.
The first class cabin features larger seats, complimentary meals and beverages, and priority boarding, while the economy class offers standard seats and buy-on-board snacks and drinks.
Sun Country Airlines is known for its vacation packages and charter services, which include flights, hotel accommodations, and rental cars. The airline offers a variety of vacation packages to popular destinations, such as Las Vegas, Cancun, and Orlando.
The airline recently extended its selling schedule through December 12, 2023.
This will accommodate travellers wishing to book fall travel including Thanksgiving and Minnesota’s popular Oct. 19-22 long weekend when schools are off.
As well as the extension, Sun Country has also bolstered its schedules to leading leisure destinations.