MIAMI — Sun Country will begin flying between the Twin Cities and the Mile High City on May 2, 2016, making it the sixth carrier to offer nonstop flights on this route.
Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, and United all operate flights between these two cities.
The flight will depart Minneapolis/St. Paul at 10:20 a.m. and arrive at 11:25 a.m. in Denver. The return flight will depart at 12:15 p.m. and arrive in Denver at 3:10 p.m.. All times are local.
The Denver-Minneapolis market does have fairly strong numbers, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2015, there was an average of 1,963 passengers per day.
During most of 2014, Frontier held a majority of the market share in this market with about 32-39% of the share per quarter; meanwhile, Delta was closely behind, but during the first quarter of 2015, Frontier’s share dropped down to 19% while Delta rose to 39%. Spirit has been operating flights on the route since April 2013.
Sun Country used to offer flights to and from Denver, but in 2007 the carrier ended flights as the competition was tough between Frontier, Northwest, and United. Additionally, the airline had trouble attracting fliers due to odd flight times. The airline did offer charter flights between Denver and Laughlin, Nevada for a short stint in 2012 and 2013 as well.
Below is the current planned schedule for all airlines that plan to operate flights between Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul on May 2, 2016:
|Airline||Frequency||Equipment||Number of Seats|
|Delta||6||2 A320s and 4 MD-90s||940|
|Frontier*||2||1 A319 and 1 A320||306|
|Southwest||5||2 737-300s and 3 737-700s||715|
|Sun Country||1||1 737-700||126|
|United||4||3 A319s and 1 737-700||502|
|*Frontier’s information is based on April 4, 2016||Total Seats = 2767|
Will Sun Country be able to survive the large competition? It could; it does have a fairly loyal base of fliers in Minneapolis, but it will have to put up a fight. Sun Country is offering one-way fares from $94 each way which is about $20 more than Spirit, and Delta is already matching $94 one-way on many dates next year.