|Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 22):
SLC makes a good regional hub for DL, allowing coverage of the Western states (no pun intended), but a European connection is not required
You could argue that about a lot of hubs…why does Texas need service to Europe. It is a much smaller O&D than most Eastern gateways but they still have it. Texas has European service because it has enough local traffic to provide more than a fuel stop for a flight going elsewhere and because there are large hubs in Texas to distribute traffic.
The real answer is that most cities want to be as connected to the world as possible because it develops the economy – usually for both business and tourism. In this case, this particular city is apparently willing to pay something to overcome the financial risk to get connected to the world. SLC
will get air service if they are willing to minimize the risk to Delta in starting up the route.
Regarding the announcement in a couple weeks, DL
apparently seems to be moving into the position of helping develop a lot of smaller cities using economic incentives… and the 767 is well-suited to develop long-thin international routes. Several airlines have recently sought out a number of cities to begin service to as long as the city provided financial incentives. In most cases, the city is not willing to permanently subsidize it but some are. Wichita still cannot support air service to ATL
without subsidies so the local govt is willing to continue to poor money into FL
to keep the little a flying to ICT
I doubt if many cities are willing to permanently subsidize an international air route but DL
does have the planes to help develop new routes to cities that otherwise might not have it.
|Quoting Bohica (Reply 29):
I wonder if the Mormon Church has anything to do with it.
You better believe it. Nothing in Utah happens without the support of the Mormon Church either directly or indirectly. DL
and the Mormon Church have locked horns before. Hopefully they have realized that both will help the other out if there is a healthy, mutually beneficial balance in the relationship. The Mormon Church is a heavy user of air services and would undoubtedly be willing to help support a route that improves its people’s access to the world.
No one has questioned the timing of this announcement. August is not a usual time for international air service announcements. It is late for winter season announcements but it is early for summer season. Of course, if it is subsidized and to a place that has a strong Christmas/New Years travel component (such as to Latin America), it isn’t as late as it may seem. And if the service will not support another carrier, it doesn’t matter how early it is announced for next summer as long as DL
has the subsidy documents signed. It provides that much more time for marketing ahead of other usual summer service announcements.
No one has suggested that the route could be in Latin America or to the S. Pacific. I wouldn’t rule either out. It could also be an foreign ski destination.
[Edited 2006-08-11 14:44:19]