Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines will be serving the Dane County Regional Airport starting in September, with non-stop flights to Fort Myers and Tampa in Florida.

Sun Country Airlines is coming to Madison.

The Minneapolis-based airline announced Tuesday it will start nonstop flights in September to Fort Myers and Tampa, both in Florida, from Dane County Regional Airport.

The twice-a-week flights will start going to Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers on Sept. 28 and to Tampa International Airport on Sept. 29.

The flights are seasonal, meaning they won’t be available year round.

“Sun Country Airlines will give business and leisure travelers a low-cost option to travel to Florida, and provide that same opportunity for Floridians who want to enjoy all that Madison and Dane County has to offer,” said Dane County executive Joe Parisi.

Sun Country was started in 1982 by a group of pilots and flight attendants who used to fly for Braniff International, joined by Minneapolis businessmen and MLT Vacations, a charter flight company now doing leisure vacations for Delta Airlines.

Besides flying from Madison to the two Florida airports, Sun Country also announced it will have flights from St. Louis and Dallas/Fort Worth heading to Fort Myers and Tampa, with those flights starting in October and November.

The airline still does charter flights, and also has vacation packages that include trips to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and select U.S. cities like Las Vegas. None of those charters — typically flights outside of a normal airline flight schedule that carry higher risk of cancellation but can also be inexpensive — fly out of Madison.

The Fort Myers flights from Madison will be on Mondays and Fridays, and the Tampa flights will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Introductory fares as low as $74 and $79 one way are being offered by the airline.

“The addition of Fort Myers and Tampa allows us to offer Midwest travelers even more choice and value when making their vacation plans,” said Ben Brookman of Sun Country Airlines. “We are thrilled to offer new non-stop service from Madison to these popular leisure destinations.”

The new non-stops add to the most recent direct flights from Dane County Regional Airport, with United flying to San Francisco and American flying to Philadelphia.

“We are extremely pleased to have Sun Country among the airlines providing exceptional services and travel opportunities to our customers,” said airport acting director Kim Jones. “This is just another opportunity as we continue to grow and expand our offerings to residents of Wisconsin.”

Madison is the only Wisconsin city on Sun Country’s service map. The airline has flights to about 50 cities.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.