Direct flights between Pinellas County and Minneapolis began Thursday.

Sun Country Airlines’ inaugural flight took off from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport headed to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, the airline said in a news release. The flights will operate weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Related: Sun Country Airlines launching flights from St. Pete-Clearwater to Minneapolis

This is Sun Country’s second flight in and out of St. Pete-Clearwater, along with a private route to Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss. The new route is part of an 18-route expansion by Sun Country, which also flies from Sarasota-Bradenton, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

“We are excited to launch flights to/from Minneapolis-St. Paul on Sun Country Airlines as regular scheduled service. After years of charter service operations at PIE, we welcome Sun Country as a key airline partner,” said Tom Jewsbury, director of St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

The airline previously operated a direct flight from St. Pete-Clearwater to Minneapolis-St. Paul from 2006 to 2008.

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