From a modest start ...
From a modest start in 1978, when aircraft renovation and trading formed the basis of the business for the company's founder Niels Sundberg, SUN-AIR has expanded to a significant operator in several fields. One of the best known is the franchise cooperation with British Airways, which has resulted in all scheduled flights operating as British Airways with all the company’s aircraft bearing the international airline’s livery.
The company name SUN-AIR comes from the first three letters of Niels Sundberg’s name "SUN", the same three letters representing Niels Sundberg’s call name when he is in the cockpit. The company’s business areas originally included taxi flights, as well as renovation and aircraft trading.
In 1987 the company became a regional airline, and the company's first route was established between Billund and Cologne in 1990. The breakthrough for scheduled flights did not come until the following year, with the launch of a new route between Aarhus and Oslo. The route continues to exist today. The same applies to the route between Aarhus and Stockholm Bromma, which launched back in 1992. Other routes that are still going strong include the Billund-Manchester route, which opened in 1997, and the Billund-Dusseldorf route, which launched in 2004.
In 1993, SUN-AIR opened its workshop at Aarhus Airport. The same year SUN-AIR bought 10% of North-West Air Service in Thisted. In 1994, SUN-AIR owned 40% of the company and in the late 1990s it owned the full company. Workshops have since been run as part of SUN-AIR with the main focus on the areas of large aircraft overhauls, landing gears, composite, wheels and brakes.
In August 1996, SUN-AIR entered into a franchise partnership with British Airways, and today all its scheduled flights are operated within this partnership. SUN-AIR was the first regional airline outside Great Britain to sign a franchise agreement with one of the world's largest airlines, and on this occasion British Airways took part in the launch at Copenhagen Airport with one of their ground-breaking Concorde aircraft.
In 1997 British Airways presented its new "Corporate Identity" worldwide, which of course also applied to its Danish franchise partner. British Airways commissioned 12 international artists to decorate the tail portions on all aircraft, with the artwork displayed at the flying art exhibition “Wings”. In Denmark the artist Per Arnoldi created the design for SUN-AIR's fleet (before the franchise cooperation this was known for the red rudder with the S logo). Later British Airways - and thus also the SUN-AIR –redesigned their aircraft tails to incorporate the famous Union Jack flag, which continues to take pride of place today. Needless to say, the franchise cooperation continues to run smoothly, and in 2016, the cooperation celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In 2009, SUN-AIR’s Charter department changed its name to JoinJet with Niels Sundberg’s son,Kristoffer Sundberg, as its manager. JoinJet has therefore launched its own website, with its own unique design and logo. Today JoinJet has its own team consisting of Charter planners, pilots and flight attendants among others, all of which perform the tasks associated with the company's charter operation.
While many other airlines have cut back on its services, SUN-AIR has gone in the opposite direction. Since 2009, all services include both meals, drinks and luggage. SUN-AIR puts service first, and has sunsequently been awarded "Best European Airline" at the Danish Travel Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
SUN-AIR has also received the SOS Travel Prize 2013. The Travel award is presented by the Association of Danish Travel Journalists who presents an annual award to a person or a company in the travel industry who has done something special for Danish consumers during the year. SUN-AIR was awarded for having continued some of the routes that were closed by Cimber's bankruptcy, and for its high quality and service.
Kristoffer Sundberg's 30th birthday in 2014 marked a generational change for SUN-AIR. Kristoffer entered into the Executive Board and later that year the Sundberg family took part in a programmeon the Danish TV channel DR2 about the generational change called "Virkelighedens Arvinger" (Heirs in reality), which first aired in March 2015.
SUN-AIR acquired ScanTech (Scandinavian Aircraft Technologies A/S) at Sindal Airport in November 2014. Scan Tech specialises in Beechcraft aircraft and Beechjet and performs aircraft maintenance on piston and turboprop aircraft and business jets. With the acquisition, SUN-AIR moved maintenance of its Hawker and Beechjets to Sindal. ScanTech was founded in 2004 and run by four people with many years of experience in the industry. Yet even more years of experience was added to the company when ScanTech acquired Business Flight Services in 2004, which had existed for over 25 years. In 2015, SUN-AIR began a cooperation with Avex Air in South Africa by acquiring shares in Avex Technical. This has extended and developed SUN-AIR’s activities in South Africa to serve customers in the areas of aircraft maintenance, component sales and overhaul, specifically targetingthe aircraft types Dornier, Beechcraft and Beechjet. The company operates under the name A&S Technic.
The establishment of SUN- AIR Technic was launched on May 1, 2016 and is a merger of ScanTech and SUN–AIR’s other workshops and warehouses.
In 2017 Kristoffer Sundberg takes over as CEO. Owner and founder Niels Sundberg stays on as Chairman of the Board and main shareholder in SUN-AIR. In this connection the new SUN-AIR DNA was implemeted with the motto "Smaller, Smarter, Smiling".
The same year SUN-AIR wins its 4th Danish Travel Award for "Best Eurpean Airline" at the Danish Travel Awards in October.