Sun Country Airlines raises $218 million in industry’s first IPO since 2018

Sun Country Airlines Boeing 737 takes off from Los Angeles International Airport on August 27, 2020.

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin | GC Images | Getty Images

Sun Country Airlines starts trading on Wednesday after the budget carrier said it estimates it raised $218 million in an initial public offering, a bet travel will continue to rebound.

The Apollo Management Group-backed, low-cost airline is the first U.S. carrier to go public since regional carrier Mesa Air Group in 2018. It sold close to 9.1 million shares, which priced at $24, the carrier said late Tuesday. Last week, the Minneapolis-based airline said it expected shares to price at between $21 and $23.

Sun Country caters to sun-seeking vacationers, a segment that has fared better during pandemic compared with larger airlines whose big international networks and business models that relied heavily on corporate travel. Sun Country also has an agreement with Amazon to fly cargo on older narrow-body Boeing 737 planes.

Sun Country was still impacted by the crisis. It swung to a $3.9 million loss last year from net income of $46 million a year earlier, according to company filings. Revenue last year fell to $401.5 million from $701 million in 2019.

Shares are set to start trading under the ticker symbol “SNCY” on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.  Discount carrier Frontier Airlines is reviving its plans to IPO, it said last week.

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