US-based Sun Country Airlines has announced plans to layoff 350 employees at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
The decision follows Sun Country’s agreement to shift a large portion of its ground-based operations to Global Aviation Services under a previously signed deal between the two companies.
The job cuts represent around 20% of Sun Country’s workforce and will begin with immediate effect.
Global is set to provide full services for Sun Country at its largest HUB operation at MSP as part of the arrangement.
The contract will also see the company begin cargo acceptance operations at the MSP facility.
Global is currently engaged in business with other carriers such as Delta Air Lines and Air France.
Global will handle more than 45 daily departures as part of the latest agreement, providing passenger services, ramp handling, cabin cleaning and de-icing works at MSP.
The deal ties into the company’s 2018 strategic growth plan for the North American region.
MSP received a record 38,034,341 passengers last year, which represents a 1.4% increase over the 2016 figure.
The airport is currently owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission.
Metropolitan Airports Commission executive director and CEO Brian Ryks said: “While MSP remains Delta Air Lines’ second-largest hub and home to Sun Country Airlines, we have seen significant growth in recent years by low-cost competitors such as Southwest, Spirit and Frontier.
“We’ve also seen a shift away from regional airlines toward more seats flown by mainline carriers using larger aircraft.”
A total of eight airlines, namely Air Choice One, Air France, Alaska, Boutique, Condor, KLM, Southwest and Spirit, have launched new services to the airport since 2008.
Jet Blue is set to become the ninth in May this year, offering three daily departures to Boston, Massachusetts.