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Sun Country Shares Soar Higher Following First Airline IPO Since 2018

By Lou Whiteman - Updated Mar 17, 2021 at 2:41PM

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The stock traded up 40% following its debut.

Sun Country Airlines Holdings (SNCY -1.71%) arrived on the public markets on Wednesday, raising $218 million in the U.S. airline industry's first IPO in more than two years.

The company, which offers tourism-focused scheduled and chartered service and also operates cargo flights for Amazon, sold 9.1 million shares priced at $24 apiece. That was slightly above the $21 to $23 target price issued last week.

Airplanes parked at an airport.

Image source: Getty Images.

Sun Country has been around since the early 1980s, and has experienced a number of corporate reshufflings, bankruptcies, and strategy changes over the years. Since 2017 it has been majority-owned by Apollo Global Management (APO) and has focused on no-frills scheduled service.

Airlines were hit hard in 2020 by the pandemic, but the stocks have been on the rebound so far this year on growing optimism that leisure travel will return as vaccines become more widespread. Sun Country and other discounters should be among the first to recover thanks to their focus on leisure fares and low fares that should help them entice travelers.

It likely will not be another two years before there is another airline IPO. Frontier Airlines earlier this month filed to go public sometime this year.

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