Sun Country’s Partnership With Minnesota State Mankato Creates Big Opportunities for Aspiring Pilots

Sun Country Bridge Program offers full-time employment opportunities for students.

October 22, 2018 | Announcement


Mankato Free Press coverage
Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal coverage
WCCO CBS Minnesota coverage
KSTP ABC Eyewitness News coverage

Please direct media inquiries to:
  Sun Country Media Relations

Minneapolis, MN, October 18, 2018 – Sun Country Airlines unveiled a key partnership today. The airline announced it will be teaming up with Minnesota State University, Mankato, to give commercial aviation students the opportunity to secure full-time employment prior to graduation through the Sun Country Bridge Program.

“This partnership is important for Sun Country Airlines and the entire aviation community because it ensures a steady stream of highly qualified pilots,” said Sun Country Airlines Chief Operating Officer John Spanjers. “We’re thrilled to be able to give aspiring pilots the opportunity to join the Sun Country family straight out of college.”

This agreement is truly groundbreaking. The partnership gives young pilots an opportunity to sign with a national carrier while they are still in school. Going straight to a national carrier, like Sun Country, means that students will have the chance to fly international routes shortly after graduation and be eligible for captaincy after just two years. Additionally, a partnership with Minnesota State Mankato allows Sun Country to mentor top talent much earlier in their career and provide input on the school’s curriculum.

“This is a big opportunity for our students,” said Department of Aviation Chair Tom Peterson. “Making the leap to a national carrier straight out of college gives our students a huge advantage in terms of their overall career progression.”

Eligible students at will be required to complete their flight hours at the university. These hours can be and often are accrued when students become paid flight instructors for the school. This means that more qualified student-pilots will remain at Minnesota State Mankato as flight instructors and continue teaching up-and-coming pilots.

Sun Country representatives will be on the school’s campus when there are openings in the Sun Country Bridge Program. Student interviews will take place through the career counseling offices.

About Sun Country
Sun Country Airlines is a privately-held, Minnesota company based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul. The award-winning airline is a leader in leisure travel flying to more than 40 popular destinations across the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, having earned a reputation for offering world-class service at an affordable price. The Company also offers services from its Sun Country Charters and Sun Country Vacations divisions. For more information, visit

About Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with approximately 15,000 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

Categories: Announcement