Aug 10, 2022 - Business

Sun Country hamstrung by pilot shortage

A Sun County jet
Sun Country lost money last quarter. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images

Sun Country lost money last quarter for the first time in 2.5 years as the Twin Cities-based airline couldn’t capitalize on surging demand for domestic travel.

What happened: Sun Country lost $4 million on sales of $219 million in the second quarter and its share price fell by 11% Tuesday.

State of play: Sun Country was hampered by a lack of pilots and couldn't increase its capacity to serve more domestic travelers at a time when airfare prices are spiking. Those types of flights are more profitable.

  • Sun Country instead had to serve its cargo and charter customers, who have contracts with the airline and provide reliable revenue during off-peak times.

What's ahead: CEO Jude Bricker said in an earnings call that a new union contract has solved recruiting and retention problems and the company has quadrupled the amount of training for new pilots.

  • He expected the pilot shortage to be solved in three to six months.
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