Sun Country Airlines on Friday named Zarir Erani as its president and CEO effective next month.
Erani, currently chief information officer for Hallmark Business Connections, has no airline experience, but was described by Sun Country Chairman Marty Davis as possessing strong organizational and management skills.
Erani, who lives in the Twin Cities, replaces John Fredericksen, who will step down as president and CEO at the end of August.
Fredericksen will remain with the Mendota Heights-based carrier in a management role focused on the airline's ongoing contract deliberations with its pilots.
Davis said he and Fredericksen searched for a successor to Fredericksen for about a year.
"John was willing to stay on until we found someone who fits the job," Davis said in an interview.
Hallmark Business Connections, where Erani currently serves, is a division of the greeting card company Hallmark and develops and implements employee recognition incentives and wellness programs for internal and external clients.
"He's very customer-oriented and he's very employee-oriented," Davis said. "He has a very diverse skill set with a strong technology background."
Sun Country Airlines has a fleet of 21 aircraft and serves popular vacation and business markets. Growth has been flat in recent years as it faces growing competition from low-fare carriers such as Spirit Airlines.