Airline’s Hometown Lakes Project showcases Minnesota heritage and pride

Article Credit: Doris Knutson

Northern Light Region

Last week, Sun Country Airlines out of Minneapolis announced that soon each airplane in their fleet will be named after a Minnesota lake and will feature custom lake-themed art, representative of the lakes that span the state, showcasing what the Land of 10,000 Lakes has to offer. Lake of the Woods has been chosen as one of the lakes featured in the airline’s Hometown Lakes Project and will have an entire plane devoted to the northernmost lake in Minnesota.
“Sun Country Airlines is Minnesota’s Hometown Airline and in Minnesota, our lakes are part of our DNA. We want to honor the bodies of water synonymous with the Minnesota lifestyle, and are thrilled to unveil the Hometown Lakes Project,” said Zarir Erani, Sun Country Airlines President and CEO.
“From Lake of the Woods and Lake Superior upstate to Lake Nokomis and Lake Phalen in the Twin Cities to Lake Winona and Lake Washington downstate, Sun Country passengers will be able to explore Minnesota through our fleet’s unique artwork and discover new reasons to love our hometown.”
Baudette Mayor Rick Rone was on hand at the Minneapolis airport last week as the project’s first airplane, one featuring Lake Bemidji, was revealed. He was honored to receive a sample of the artwork that will grace the airplane and met with representatives from the airline.
“This is huge for Lake of the Woods,” Rone said.
“Anytime a corporation this large promotes our area, it is a big deal for us. This plane will land everywhere in the world.”
Lake of the Woods Area Tourism Executive Director Joe Henry echoed Mayor Rone on the importance of the airplane to our area.
“The Lake of the Woods theme on a Sun Country jet is a great opportunity and even a sense of pride for those of us who love this community and all it has to offer,” said Henry.
“Having exposure to people who travel from around the United States is extremely valuable.  There is no way of knowing for sure how this may impact tourism, but already gaining press and social media by having mayor Rick Rone present at a Sun Country event has increased exposure and the theme isn’t even out yet,” continued Henry.
“I would bet there will be people who either fly on that jet or see the jet from afar who will Google Lake of the Woods and things will roll from there.”
Sun Country commissioned Minneapolis-based, nationally renowned artist Mark Herman to create the custom illustrations for each plane. For inspiration, he embarked with his dad on a trip across Minnesota to scout out lakes and landmarks. The trip resulted in incredible, custom lake and topography illustrations.
Lake of the Woods’ airplane will feature artwork on the exterior of the airplane, as well as art and posters decorating the interior of the plane as well. Videos focusing on Lake of the Woods will also play during each flight. In addition, Rone and Henry hope to furnish the plane with visitors’ guides for the area.
All Hometown Lakes Project artwork will be rolled out to the rest of the fleet over the next several months.
To learn more about Sun Country Airlines’ Hometown Lakes Project visit

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