MKE Airport Is Getting Another New Airline and Flights to Cancun

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … another new airline coming to Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

Yet another airline will offer new, nonstop service from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.

Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines will begin service from Milwaukee to five destinations starting this summer. They are Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport; Cancun International Airport in Mexico; McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas; Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Florida; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The announcement is part of a larger expansion by the airline, as it announced 18 new nonstop routes and nine new airports to its growing network. Sun Country joins a growing number of airlines competing for customers at Mitchell as air travel continues to rebound from the crushing blow dealt by the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a dramatic decrease in leisure and business travel. The rebound is being fueled, in large part, by a wide-scale vaccination effort.

“We know folks are excited to resume traveling, and we’re happy to be able to offer them the opportunity to travel to these destinations with us,” Sun Country Airlines Chief Revenue Officer Grant Whitney said. “We’re proud to bring our brand of convenient, affordable travel to Milwaukee.”

From Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, Sun Country will offer the only scheduled nonstop service to Cancun. The service begins on Dec. 18 and will be offered once per week on Saturdays.

With the expansion, Sun Country Airlines, which has been in operation for more than 35 years, will operate a total of 93 routes across 69 airports in the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

“Sun Country’s low fares and great service will be popular for many travelers in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois,” Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport Director Brian Dranzik said.

Sun Country offers free in-flight entertainment, a new mobile-friendly website with more self-service tools and new interiors on each aircraft.

Flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul and Las Vegas will begin on Aug. 26 and will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. Flights from Milwaukee to Fort Myers will launch Dec. 15 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Service between Milwaukee and Phoenix will take off on Dec. 17 with flights on Mondays and Fridays.

Photo courtesy of Sun Country Airline

Word of Sun Country’s pending arrival in Milwaukee comes after recent announcements by two other airlines of their plans to begin serving Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. New York-based JetBlue Airways will start service from Milwaukee in the second quarter of 2022. The airline will offer nonstop flights to two key markets – Boston Logan International Airport and New York/John F. Kennedy International Airport. JetBlue is the largest domestic airline not already serving Milwaukee. Spirit Airlines will launch daily nonstop flights to Orlando International Airport, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport beginning June 24. Once service begins, the discount carrier will offer the only nonstop flights to Los Angeles from Milwaukee. Florida-based Sprit has built its reputation on low fares and customizable travel options.

Sun Country, JetBlue and Spirit join eight other airlines already serving the market. Mitchell Airport, which is owned by Milwaukee County and operated by the Department of Transportation, currently offers nonstop flights to nearly 40 destinations coast-to-coast.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines remains the dominant carrier at Mitchell with a market share of nearly 46% as of February, the most recent month for which statistics are available.

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Rich Rovito is a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine.