BA said: If you include Provo, then I guess I can include Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Longmont which will bring Denver's population to more than 3.5 million.
By all means you must include Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Longmont in any evaluation of DENs passenger potential as SLC must include Provo. The Census bureau has their own reasons for not including these in an evaluation of a city's population but an airline will certainly take them into account. Provo and Ogden are equidistant from SLC yet only one of them is included by the Census bureau in its population figures. The same goes for the three cities you mentioned in Colorado. They must be included in any accurate calculation of DENs pop. base as their proximity to DEN means that these passengers will also take advantage of any international service at DEN.
I argue that SLC may (I stress may) receive AF service prior to any of the above mentioned cities simply because of the DL hub. Although the O/D base is much smaller than DEN, SEA, PHX, DFW, DTW, etc. this can easily be made up for with people connecting in SLC from other cities (including those I have listed, save for DTW) onto the AF flight. AF may see that it is easier to serve DEN, PHX, SEA, etc. via DL codeshares through SLC rather than with their own equipment. Of course, as I am not entirely privy to the numbers of passengers departing each of these airports to Paris and points beyond each year, I cannot make any hard and fast predicitions. However, I do agree that the above mentioned cities are more likely to see an AF flight prior to SLC simply because they are all tried and tested international airports whereas SLCs only international flights are to Mexico and Canada. Furthermore, the larger O/D base should translate into higher yields in those cities than in SLC but we'll have to wait and see.
BA said: Don't tell me he knows "nothing".
Either you misunderstood me or I did not make myself clear enough. I did not in any way mean to say that he knows nothing. Of course, he knows much more than either one of us as he is in direct contact with the airline. What I meant to say is that you should take anything he says with a grain of salt. After all, he does not work for AF and is therefore unaware of the airline's exact plans. As I stated earlier, our airport spokesperson here in SLC has stated several times that we are on the brink of receiving international service when we clearly are not. Over the years I have read that BA, VS, AF, KE, OZ, etc., are about to make an announcement about SLC service. Obviously, none of the above yet serve SLC. Thus, my point was that although he knows a lot, he may be led to believe that AF service is just around the corner when in fact it is not. Anyway, only time will tell.
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