SUN-AIR was launched in 1978 by the present owner Niels Sundberg, and specialised in aircraft renovation, trading and taxi flights. Since then, we have expanded to become a significant operator in several fields. One of the best known is our franchise operation with British Airways. All scheduled flights managed by the partnership operate as British Airways, with the aircraft bearing the international airline’s livery.
The company name SUN-AIR is derived from the first three letters of Niels Sundberg’s surname, which is also his call name in the cockpit.
In 1987 the company became a regional airline and the company's first route was established between Billund and Cologne in 1990. Scheduled flights were launched the following year, beginning with a new route between Aarhus and Oslo, which continues to fly today. 1992 saw the launch of our route between Aarhus and Stockholm Bromma, also still in service. Other routes still going strong include the Billund-Manchester route, which opened in 1997, and the Billund-Dusseldorf route, which launched in 2004.
In 1993, we opened our workshop at Aarhus Airport. The same year we bought 10% of North-West Air Service in Thisted. In 1994, SUN-AIR owned 40% of the company increasing to the full 100% ownership in the late 1990s. 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.
Our partnership with British Airways
In August 1996, we entered into a franchise partnership with British Airways, and today all our 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. British Airways’ ground-breaking Concorde aircraft helped marked the launch at Copenhagen Airport.
In 1997 British Airways launched 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 Wings, the flying art exhibition. In Denmark the artist Per Arnoldi created the design for SUN-AIR's fleet (recognized as a red rudder with the ‘S’ logo before the franchise agreement). 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 later in 2016, our partnership will celebrate its 20th anniversary.
JoinJet, our charter service
In 2009, SUN-AIR’s charter department changed its name to JoinJet with Niels Sundberg’s son, Kristoffer Sundberg, as its manager. JoinJet has since launched its own website with its own unique design and logo. Today JoinJet is run by its own team consisting of charter planners, pilots and flight attendants among others.
While many other airlines have cut back on its services, SUN-AIR has increased what we offer our customers. Since 2009 for example, all services include both meals, drinks and baggage. SUN-AIR puts service first, and we have subsequently been awarded Best European Airline at the Danish Travel Awards in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
In 2013, SUN-AIR was awarded the SOS Travel Prize by The Association of Danish Travel Journalists, who are tasked with recognizing a person or company in the travel industry that has significantly benefited Danish consumers. The award was a result of our continuation of routes otherwise closed by the bankruptcy of Cimber, and for providing exceptional service.
Kristoffer Sundberg's 30th birthday in 2014 marked a generational change for the company. Kristoffer became a member of the Executive Board and later that year the Sundberg family took part in a Danish television programme called Virkelighedens Arvinger (Heirs in Reality). The documentary focused on the changes experienced by the different generations and first aired in March 2015.
SUN-AIR acquired ScanTech (Scandinavian Aircraft Technologies A/S) at Sindal Airport in November 2014. ScanTech specialises in Beechjet aircraft, managing aircraft maintenance on piston and turboprop aircraft and business jets. With the acquisition, SUN-AIR moved the maintenance of our Hawker and Beechjet aircraft to Sindal.
ScanTech was founded in 2004 and run by four people with many years of experience in the industry. 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 ensured SUN-AIR’s operations extend and develop across South Africa in the areas of aircraft maintenance, component sales and overhaul, specifically targeting the aircraft types Dornier, Beechcraft and Beechjet. The company operates under the name A&S Technic.
SUN-AIR Technic was launched on 1 May 2016, formed by the merger of ScanTech and SUN–AIR’s other workshops and warehouses.