Delta Files To Fly Nonstop Between Washington, D.C.’S Reagan National And Salt Lake City
ATLANTA, Jan. 31, 2001 -- Delta Air Lines has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate nonstop flights between Salt Lake City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Delta’s application would use two of the 12 slot exemptions for service beyond the Reagan National perimeter limitation as authorized under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (the "Air 21 Act") enacted last year. Delta’s DOT filing was in response to the announced sale of TWA’s assets and a recent DOT letter which advised that the law prohibits the transfer of TWA's two Reagan National slot exemptions.
Delta said its proposal to provide service between Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National and Delta’s major and centrally located western hub at Salt Lake City excels in terms of the two critical objectives identified by Congress when it enacted Air-21 -- maximizing "domestic network benefits" and enhancing "competition in multiple markets." Delta’s Salt Lake City hub will provide the most effective coverage for numerous cities located in the intermountain west that did not receive any new access benefits under the Department’s previous allocation of beyond-perimeter slot exemptions.
In the filing, Delta points out that, as one of the major hubs in the western United States, Salt Lake City is ideally suited to serve as a gateway to Washington, D.C. for many communities. Delta’s new service will provide 33 cities in the West with new nonstop-to-nonstop connecting service to Reagan National. In fact, 11 small and medium-sized communities in the northern tier region will receive their first-ever nonstop-to-nonstop connecting service to Reagan National, while seven other communities will receive their first competitive nonstop-to-nonstop service.
Delta said these are exactly the type of new connecting opportunities that Congress wanted to occur when it decided to permit nonstop service beyond the Reagan National perimeter. Salt Lake City and dozens of small and medium-sized communities that enjoy nonstop service to Salt Lake City have long been deprived of convenient and competitive access to Reagan National due to the artificial restriction imposed by the "perimeter rule," which prohibits nonstop service between Reagan National and points located more than 1,250 miles away.
"I strongly support Delta’s application for daily flights from Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C. Today, passengers from many areas in the west are forced to double or even triple connect in order to fly to Reagan National. I hope the Department of Transportation will acknowledge the domestic network benefits provided by Delta Air Lines and its partner SkyWest through the Salt Lake City International Airport," Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) said in support of Delta’s filing.
Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said, "While I would have preferred to eliminate the perimeter rule altogether, which I believe would have substantially improved access to the West, I am hopeful that the U.S. Department of Transportation will ensure that small and mid-sized communities in the west, especially the northern tier, have improved access through hubs like Salt Lake City."
Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) said, "As a member of the conference committee that finalized this legislation, I look forward to working with Delta and the DOT to ensure Montanans have competitive access to and from our nation's capital via Ronald Reagan National Airport."
"When these new flights from Reagan National Airport were originally approved it was the clear intention of the House that Salt Lake City be included as a link to the West. I hope that Secretary Mineta will work with us to finally make these flights a reality," Congressman Jim Hansen (R - Utah) said.
Delta would operate a daily round-trip service with 183-passenger Boeing 757 aircraft. The flights would be scheduled to maximize connections at Salt Lake City to dozens of small and medium-sized communities in the western United States.
from Delta.com. Also- this article is proff that DELTA IS NOT CLOSING DOWN ITS SALT LAKE CITY HUB. If it was, then they would not waste such valuable slots on it.