Sun Country Airlines, a small carrier based in Minneapolis that focuses mostly on leisure routes, has announced their intentions to start transatlantic service this summer, connecting New York City to London’s Stansted airport once weekly. The service will depart from
New YorkMinneapolis on Friday evenings with return flights scheduled on Sunday mornings. The aircraft will remain at Stansted overnight on Saturday.
The Stansted airport is only marginally truly a London airport. It is about 45 minutes and £18 away from Liverpool Station by express train. Still, it opens a fourth airport offering service to New York City back up to London residents and it offers some convenience for residents in the northern suburbs.
The Stansted – New York route was served previously by Eos airline, an all-business class carrier, and American Airlines. American fought Eos aggressively on price, and the upstart carrier eventually was forced into bankruptcy and a cessation of operations. Shortly thereafter American suspended service on the route noting that it was not profitable. The Dallas-based carrier has not yet indicated whether they intend to restart operations on the route given the new competition but it seems unlikely.
The service is expected to be operated on the carrier’s 737-800 aircraft making Sun Country the only operator of coach or mixed configuration 737s crossing the Atlantic at this time. The necessary ETOPS certification was accomplished in late 2009 so there are no limitations to offering the service at this point. Pricing and final schedule details have not been released and initial inquiries to the Sun Country press office have not yet been returned.
UPDATE (17 MAR 10): The service will be from Minneapolis with a technical stop in Gander on the Canadian coast, not via New York City. So very disappointing for me.
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