Pittsburgh International Airport will add a new airline to its lineup in time for next summer’s travel period.
On Tuesday, ultra-low-cost carrier Sun Country Airlines announced that it will start nonstop, seasonal service between PIT and Minneapolis, Minn. Flights will operate twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays starting on June 2 and will run through September.
Flights on Sun Country will be operated by Boeing 737-800 narrowbody aircraft seating a total of 186 passengers. The airline offers free in-flight entertainment, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages and in-seat power. Sun Country will offer introductory fares as low as $69 on flights from PIT.
“With more folks eager to resume leisure travel, we’re excited to be able to offer them another option to get away this summer to enjoy the Steel City,” said Sun Country Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Grant Whitney. “We know there is pent-up demand for convenient, affordable travel, and we’re here to help folks enjoy the vacations they’ve been dreaming about.”
PIT is a part of Sun Country’s latest expansion plan. The airline is adding 11 new routes and seven new cities to its network.
“We’re thrilled to have Sun Country’s low-cost service for Pittsburgh travelers heading to the Twin Cities,” said Bryan Dietz, Senior Vice President, Air Service and Commercial Development. “Additionally, we’re looking forward to welcoming Minnesotans to experience all that the Pittsburgh region has to offer, from top-rated bars and restaurants to our world-renowned sports teams and museums.”
Founded in 1982, the Minneapolis-based carrier operates over 100 routes and 80 airports in the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. Sun Country focuses on serving leisure travelers and passengers visiting family and relatives. The airline also provides service to charter customers and cargo operators.
Sun Country is the third airline to announce service to PIT in 2021, joining Breeze Airways and Contour Airlines. In addition, Sun Country will become the fifth ultra-low cost carrier to serve PIT, joining Allegiant, Breeze, Frontier and Spirit Airlines.
Minneapolis service on Sun Country will be the 21st route announced from PIT in 2021.
PIT welcomes Contour ahead of additional growth
Last week, Contour Airlines launched service from PIT to two key business markets. Contour began nonstop flights to Milwaukee on Tuesday while service to Indianapolis began on Wednesday. The Milwaukee service operates six times a week and Indianapolis flies daily.
Contour CEO Matt Chaifetz cited the business community and potential for growth as reasons for Contour to add routes to and from Pittsburgh.
“When we drew a radius of the top unserved markets from Indianapolis, Pittsburgh was at the top of our list,” he said. “As we designed the schedule, we also saw the opportunity to connect Milwaukee. We wanted to be the first carrier to offer nonstop service to those markets.”
Contour Airlines began nonstop service from PIT to Milwaukee on Oct. 12 and Indianapolis on Oct. 13. (Photo by Evan Dougherty)
Contour’s flights from PIT are operated by Embraer E135 regional jets that offer a 2-1 seating configuration, featuring leather seats and expanded legroom. Service also includes complimentary snacks and beverages to passengers and a free checked bag that comes in standard and flexible fares. Seat pitch throughout the aircraft is a minimum of 36 inches – on par with domestic first-class offerings of major carriers, according to the airline.
Sun Country and Contour are not the only recent service additions, as other airlines plan on adding more flights at PIT.
This fall, Allegiant will add its 19th destination from Pittsburgh with service to Melbourne, Fla., starting Nov. 11. Allegiant will operate the route year-round on Thursdays and Sundays. Melbourne will be the 15th city in Florida served nonstop from PIT.
November will also include Southwest Airlines adding winter-only service to Miami and Austin, Texas, on select days. Miami service will start on Nov. 20 and Austin on Nov. 23.
That same month, PIT will see frequency additions to major business markets. American Airlines will resume service to New York-JFK on Nov. 2 and will increase flights to New York-LaGuardia and Washington-Reagan. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines will up its flights to LaGuardia.