MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s hometown airline will soon have out-of-town owners.

Apollo Global Management, an investment group based in New York, will buy Sun County Airlines for an undisclosed amount of money.

But there are no plans to move Sun Country’s headquarters out of Minnesota. It’s been a Minnesota icon for 35 years with the motto “The Hometown Airline.”

It’s known for giving travelers low prices to warm destinations.

“I think it’s price and flexibility,” one traveler said.

“It’s the convenience, the prices are very good and I’ve never had a problem checking in or out,” Sun Country customer Renee Andrews said.

Locally owned by the Davis family and Cambria Holdings, Sun Country is being sold in an undisclosed deal to New York investment group, Apollo Global Management. Sun Country says operations will remain in the Twin Cities, but hints at outside growth.

“I wouldn’t know differently probably,” another traveler said.

Chief Executive Marty Davis cited Apollo’s, “Proven track record for successfully helping companies grow and generate long-term value,” and predicts “Expansion and its evolution beyond its Minnesota base.”

Sun Country survived bankruptcy twice. Most recently in 2008, when recession and fraud by then owner Tom Petters nearly sunk it for good. Pilots’ salaries were slashed, but eventually restored.

“The prices might go up and other things change so we would probably want to keep it in Minnesota. Any business we can keep here we want here,” Andrews said.

Apollo is a player in the leisure industry, including Norwegian Cruise Lines. Analysts say Sun Country is a good fit. Employees and passengers alike hope for a turbulent-free transition.

“Just keep it the way it is I guess,” a traveler said.

In 2011, the Davis family bought Sun Country in a bankruptcy sale for $34 million. Apollo Global is not saying what it’s paying for the company. It’s safe to say it’s a lot more than what the Davis’ paid.

Last year, the airline cleared about $16 million in profits.

In 2011, the Davis family bought Sun Country in a bankruptcy sale for $34 million. Apollo Global is not saying what it’s paying for the company. It’s safe to say it’s a lot more than what the Davis’ paid.

Last year, the airline cleared about $16 million in profits. Sun Country is the largest privately-held independent airline in the country. The airlines services about 2.5 million passengers a year.

The deal should be finalized in the first quarter of next year.

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