Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Regional-jet service to start at Friedman

SkyWest to replace turboprops with 65-seat jets


    Delta Air Lines will introduce jet service on its Sun Valley to Salt Lake City route beginning Jan. 6, 2014. The flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines using 65-seat, two-class Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets. Each aircraft is equipped with nine first-class seats, eight economy-comfort seats and 48 economy seats, as well as onboard Wi-Fi.
    The jets will replace the 28-seat Embraer 120 turboprop airplanes currently in use by SkyWest.
    According to a news release from Friedman Memorial Airport, the change to a larger aircraft will add about 3,100 additional Delta seats into Sun Valley in 2014, though with a reduction in the number of flights. The current schedule of six round-trip flights per day during the peak season and three daily flights off-peak will be changed to three round-trip flights during peak times and two flights during off-peak times.
    However, Airport Manager Rick Baird said the change would be an enhancement to air service for both local residents and visitors.
    “While the daily flight frequency will be reduced in the short term because of the increase in seat capacity of the jets versus the turboprops, we are optimistic this new aircraft, along with competitive fares and enhanced cooperative marketing between our community and Delta Air Lines, will encourage more people to fly (to Sun Valley),” he said. “And if we can fill these additional seats, we can continue to discuss additional frequency with Delta, because we know that is very important for our business and leisure travel market here.”
    During a review process in 2012 to gain approval for regional jets to fly in and out of Friedman, airport officials said the jets would provide more reliable service in inclement weather and would be slightly less noisy than the turboprops.

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