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Sun Country Airlines expects service to return to normal Friday after outage

The Twin Cities-based carrier was able to manually approve flights for takeoff after a third-party software outage temporarily grounded all flights Thursday.

MINNEAPOLIS — Twin Cities-based Sun Country Airlines says service should be back on track Friday after a software application system that tracks flight operations went down Thursday morning.

According to an update from Sun Country, the airline was able to get nearly all of its flights back in the air after manually approving flights for takeoff.

"Yesterday, July 1, we experienced an outage of a third-party software application, causing disruption to flight schedules throughout our system. Our Operations team worked diligently with our provider to restore a portion of the system, enabling us to execute our approved manual process and safely clear flights for takeoff," spokesperson Erin Blanton said in a statement. "While we are disappointed to inconvenience our guests on a busy holiday weekend, we were able to successfully operate 97% of scheduled service. We expect to resume normal operations today and look forward to serving our passengers."

The carrier first posted on social media platforms Thursday morning, informing customers of the problem.  

"Sun Country has received reports of a temporary third-party system outage affecting all Sun Country flights, as well as the flights of many other airlines worldwide. Currently, no flights are enroute and we are delaying takeoffs until further notice," read a statement posted on the carrier's website.

The statement said Sun Country was working with the system operator's team to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, adding that the outage "has the full attention of our entire operations team."

Sun Country's media relations team later sent out an email providing some additional details. "Our operations team is executing our approved manual process and working closely with the FAA to clear flights for takeoff. However, this manual process is causing delays throughout our system. We appreciate the patience of our guests as we work to get them safely on their way as quickly as possible."

Burnsville-based JetTip posted a picture of a Sun Country jet flying overhead later Thursday morning, saying tracking data indicated it was the first of the carrier's flights to depart since the outage hit. 

Sun Country is currently waiving change fees for any passenger scheduled to fly through July 6. Those changes can be made online via My Trips.

"If guests are calling regarding travel in the next 24 hours, we ask them to please be patient, as our hold times may be longer than normal," Blanton said in a released statement. "For all other inquiries, please consider visiting our website for flight status, answers to frequently asked questions, and self-service itinerary change options."

At least one passenger posted a video on Twitter showing passengers packing the terminal waiting out those delays, until their flights are cleared to depart. 

Sun Country is directing passengers to their website for the latest updates on the situation. 


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