Southern Airways Announces Acquisition of Sun Air Express


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Southern Airways Express

Southern Airways today announces that it has acquired Ft. Lauderdale-based Sun Air Express, a commuter airline serving eight cities in the mid-Atlantic region, with hubs at Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) and Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD). Sun Air has successfully developed a connecting hub model at the Pittsburgh International Airport. There, passengers can connect to over 50 cities around the United States and around the world. “Passengers from across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York State are able to connect to both legacy and low cost carriers through the world-class terminal at Pittsburgh. We look forward to expanding those connections and adding additional cities in the near future,” said Stan Little, Chairman and CEO of Southern.

Regional identity and personal service are a cornerstone of the combined airlines’ mission. “We have always striven to be a part of the communities that we serve, and that spirit will continue as we adopt our new markets in the mid-Atlantic,” said Little. “Our co-founder, Keith Sisson, is relocating from Memphis to Pittsburgh to ensure that we provide the same first-rate customer service on a system-wide basis.”

Sun Air Express currently operates a fleet of Piper Chieftain aircraft, most of which will be retired over the next year, in favor of Southern’s flagship Caravan 208 planes, which it has operated from the Memphis hub for the past three years. “There’s no question that Sun’s passengers are going to love the upgrade to the Caravan aircraft,” said Phil LeFevre, Chief Operating Officer for Sun, who will be taking on the same role at Southern. “It’s safe, it’s roomy, it’s comfortable, and its reliability rate is over 98% for on-time departures. Moving from piston to turbine engines will improve the overall flight experience for our passengers.”

Southern Airways will consolidate and relocate most corporate functions from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis, although the airline will retain certain operational functions in Florida, in addition to its secondary ops base in Chicago. “Our passengers in the mid-Atlantic region will see only positive change from this merger,” said Little. “All tickets issued will be honored. The schedule will be honored. The pilots and airport staff will remain in place. But our communities, and thus our passengers, will soon see upgraded aircraft, more destinations, and better schedules. We believe we have acquired a company with a strong foundation on which to build a bigger and better regional airline product based on our trademark Southern service.”

Tickets for Sun Air flights will continue to be sold at and at 1-844-8-SUN-AIR.

For media inquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Southern’s Manager of Communications and Media Relations, Arthur Randallson: cell: 901-674-0100