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August 19, 2017

U.S. airline passengers could soon have another choice for ultra-low-cost flights.

The CEO of Sun Country Airlines announced in a memo this week that the airline will begin implementing passenger fees and expanding beyond its hub at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, according to the Star Tribune.

Related: Spirit Airlines Tickets Are Even Cheaper If You Buy Them at the Airport

The airline’s new plan resembles that of infamous ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines. Sun Country plans to add more seats to planes — increasing revenue but decreasing legroom — while introducing fees for checked bags and in-flight beverages.

Jude Brickner was appointed president and CEO of Sun Country last month. Prior to his hire, Brickner was the COO of Allegiant Air, another low cost carrier that charges passenger fees.

Sun Country Airlines currently flies to 40 destinations, mostly in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Many of the flights are seasonal, bringing Minnesotans down to warm weather destinations in the winter. But the new plan will focus on establishing other flight routes outside of the Minneapolis hub.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Spirit Airlines' Fees

Brickner did not set a timetable for the airline’s changes.

The airline’s new business plan follows an industry-wide trend of increasing airplane capacity and adding passenger fees — which the government has noticed. Last month, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration must investigate “the case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat” and earlier this year, the Department of Transportation called on airlines to be more transparent about hidden fees.

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