First direct flights to warm destinations depart from RST | News

On Thursday afternoon, Sun Country Airlines launched its new non-stop service from Rochester to Ft. Myers hours before its first direct flight to Phoenix from RST.

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For the first time, Med City offers affordable flights to warm-weather areas.

Sun Country Airlines launched its new nonstop service from Rochester to Fort Meyers Thursday afternoon, hours before its first direct flight to Phoenix from RST. The Fowler family was aboard the inaugural Sun Country near-capacity flight to South Florida, excited to thaw at the beach without bothering to drive to Minneapolis.

“The airport is so quiet, and so much less with four kids to navigate through than going into the cities and maybe fighting the roads, and getting there before, and all that stuff. This is just a place for us, ‘ said passenger Emily Fowler.

In addition to debuting new destinations, the arrival of Sun Country also brings another element to travel to RST. Airport executive director John Reed says KIMT’s travel trends have changed since the start of the pandemic, and that offering new ways to say “sayonara” to the Minnesota snow will change the style of travelers to will pull the gates of RST.

“Traditionally, we as an airport have been very business-oriented.” Reed continued, “Business travelers across the United States have slowed it down a bit. A lot of them are looking at other opportunities and ways of doing business. They’re coming back, but what’s led to it is the leisure trip, or traditional, warm weather, vacation-style markets. People have the opportunity to bring families, and Sun Country offers a great way to do that right here on the spot.”

Med City Mayor Kim Norton, along with airport and airline staff, welcomed passengers boarding Sun Country’s maiden flight from Rochester. She hopes flight options at RST will continue to expand, increasing non-stop travel options for residents and visitors alike.

“Minnesotans are familiar with the Sun Country name for convenient and affordable travel, and these new destinations will make it even easier to enjoy travel opportunities to popular destinations for our residents and visitors,” Norton said.

Flights to Fort Meyers go twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays. Phoenix flights depart on Mondays and Fridays.


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