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Minn. Company Buys Sun Country Airlines

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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Sun Country Airlines announced Wednesday that they’ve been sold to Cambria Holdings, LLC, a private company owned by the Davis family of St. Peter, Minn.

“Today is an exciting day for our employees, our customers and the communities we serve,” said Stan Gadek, president and CEO of Sun Country. “The Davis family is personally familiar with our product. They fly on Sun Country airlines and probably two of the most important criteria from their standpoint were our employees and culture of the company.”

He said they will continue to expand the airline’s services, while maintaining their “commitment to providing top-notch customer service.” Gadek says his goal is profitability first, and growth second.

“As we approach our 30th anniversary as the Twin Cities’ Hometown Airline, we intend to provide our customers with even more domestic and international routes,” Gadek said. “Now, with the backing of the Davis’, we will be able to do even more.”

The move comes after the company emerged from bankruptcy, following the following former owner Tom Petters fraud conviction. Sun Country filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008 just days after Petters was charged in a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme he eventually was convicted of orchestrating. Sun Country emerged from Chapter 11 last February.

“We knew it was going to happen, it had to happen because of the creditor situation,” said Minneapolis based airline analyst Terry Trippler, who calls the deal an exciting opportunity for a hometown airline.

“What this airline needs is an infusion of cash. That is what they are going to have now. I can see where Stan is having a hard time staying in his skin,” said Trippler. “Finally this man has capital to do what he wants to do, this man has done miracles with what he has had, going to be amazing to see where this airline can go. The hometown airline is ready to visit more towns.”

Cambria Holdings CEO Marty Davis told WCCO-TV that his company was a Sun Country customer first, and the most attractive lure of the investment was a Minnesota company with family feel, a true hometown airline.

Sun Country has more than 800 employees and flies to 38 year-round and seasonal destinations in the United States, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe, with added service to Costa Rica and now year round service to Boston, New York and San Francisco.

Officials say there will be no changes to Sun Country’s operation, management or frequent-flyer program.

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