Sun Country supply chain case study

Sun Country Airlines

In the midst of an airline financial crisis, pressure to reduce costs was high when Sun Country Airlines partnered with AFFLINK. Our supply chain experts were able to optimize their processes and lower expenses. Continue reading to learn the secrets to success.


It has been no secret that the aviation industry has hit some rocky climate over the past few years. With rising fuel costs, staff shortages and a fragile economy, many airlines have simply… gone bust. Sun Country Airlines, a low-cost airline originally purchased by a group of pilots and flight attendants of the defunct Braniff International in 1982, was not immune to the uncertainties in their air transportation investment. Improving efficiency was not a task to be taken lightly as the performance of European airlines’ share prices reflected a universal weakness in financial performance of some major carriers in 2014.

With 32 destinations including Mexico, the Caribbean and Costa-Rica, Sun Country required solutions which would not only provide but excel in national service with expertise at a local level and solve for inefficiencies within its supply chain. It was time to examine current ineffective systems and determine creative methods for banishing some of what plagues the industry today.


Headquartered in Mendota Heights, MN, Sun Country Airlines selected longtime AFFLINK Member, Van Paper Company, as its Distributor of choice. After servicing all Minnesota locations and shipping to a few outside of their base state for some time, Van Paper made the decision to introduce the account to AFFLINK. Strongly believing in AFFLINK’s aptitude to expand the business through its National Service capabilities Van Paper CEO, Mark Van, brought in AFFLINK Business Development Manager, Jim Huber.

Together Jim and Mark were able to uncover several opportunities for improved supply chain solutions. Through the utilization of proprietary analysis tools, the team discovered that ineffective systems were being implemented, including, “flying products down in their own jets thus wasting space which could be used for other revenue streams” says Huber.

A national plan for supply chain efficiency and local support was established while additional AFFLINK Members were brought in to close the gaps. Sun Country Dallas has successfully been purchasing from Gulf Coast Paper for the last six months and the executive team has requested two routes be set up for their Mississippi locations with service from Osceola Supply within the coming months.


After experiencing such fluid success, Sun Country Airlines has indicated the next steps will be to set- up both their Miami, FL and Lansing, MI locations. AFFLINK Members look forward to becoming involved in this growing opportunity and continuing to ride what we all work for, the upswing in a sometimes fickle industry.

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