Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Report: Jets will have good connections

Analysis shows little impact from SkyWest flight reductions


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

A flight connectivity analysis done by the local nonprofit Fly Sun Valley Alliance indicates that Delta Airlines’ replacement of turbo-prop planes with jets to serve Friedman Memorial Airport should have little impact on travelers’ schedules.
    Delta will introduce regional-jet service on its Sun Valley to Salt Lake City route beginning Jan. 6. The flights will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines using 65-seat, two-class Bombardier CRJ-700s. The planes will replace the 27-seat Embraer-120 Brasilia turboprops currently in use.
    The change to a larger aircraft will add about 3,100 additional Delta seats into Friedman in 2014, though with a reduction in the number of flights. The current schedule of six round-trip flights per day during the peak winter and summer seasons and three flights during off-peak times will be changed to three flights during peak seasons and two flights during off-peak times.
    According to Delta’s schedule for 2014, the current 6:50 a.m. flight from Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey to Salt Lake City will remain in effect, though the 9:27 a.m. flight will be discontinued. That means travelers from Sun Valley may have to catch the early flight to meet a connection, but Fly Sun Valley Alliance Director Carol Waller said Delta has created the new schedule to provide the best connectivity possible through Salt Lake City.
    On outbound flights, the morning flight will connect with 25 cities within around an hour or less, and the afternoon flight will connect with 13 cities within around an hour or less, Waller said.  
    On inbound flights, the morning flight leaving Salt Lake City at 11:15 a.m. could connect with 25 cities with layovers of around an hour or less, and the afternoon flight connects with 17 cities within about an hour or less.
    Connection cities include Atlanta, Denver, New York, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Orange County, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Chicago and Dallas.
    Waller said Delta is still working on possible schedule adjustments for the third daily flight, which will be added for peak season beginning Feb. 14.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com




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