Sun Country Airlines has eliminated planned summer routes to Hawaii and Alaska, citing high fuel costs on those longhaul services.
“Bookings are strong for summer travel, and we know our customers are eager to vacation,” the carrier said in a statement. “After experiencing extremely high demand in the first quarter of the year, Sun Country is adjusting our summer flying schedule to ensure that we are providing a reliable product and to align our flying with current high fuel prices.”
The Minneapolis-based discount airline had planned to serve Honolulu from Los Angeles and San Francisco and Fairbanks from Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Sun Country spokeswoman Wendy Burt noted that the carrier flew 30% more block hours in the first quarter of this year than it did during the first quarter of 2019. The increase came in the face of a nationwide pilot shortage that is playing a role in mainline schedule cutbacks at JetBlue and Alaska, as well regional cutbacks at United, Delta and American.
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Burt said that Sun Country nevertheless will launch new service this summer to Vancouver; Burlington, Vt.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Pittsburgh; and Spokane, Wash. In the last two weeks, the carrier also launched new service to Jacksonville, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; and Savannah, Ga.
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