Sun Country to serve Branson

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Sun Country Airlines has signed on with the new Branson, Missouri, airport to be the sole carrier between the Ozark Mountains music resort and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The carrier, based in the Twin Cities, will operate the route three days a week.

The privately funded Branson airport, which opens on 11 May, is awarding exclusive route rights, a practice prohibited for airports that are federally funded.

AirTran was the first carrier to receive exclusive rights to serve Branson and plans flight from both Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Milwaukee using two-class 117-seat Boeing 717s.

Branson's new airport features a single 7,140ft long and 150ft wide runway, and is capable of handling private planes and commercial aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 767.