Samantha Hayes Reporting Would Delta Airlines ever decide to pull out of Salt Lake International? The Airline's CEO met with the board of directors today in Atlanta to try and stop the airline's financial bleeding. Closing a hub is an idea.
Delta is losing 4-million dollars a day. It's lost 5 and a half billion dollars since 2000. So they've got to do something. Utahns are now hoping the new "Delta Solution" is not bad news for Salt Lake City.
78% of the flights in and out of Salt Lake City International Airport every day are operated by Delta and its partners.
Lane Beatty, Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce: “We are the crossroads of the West. That doesn’t mean just on land; it also means in the air.”
Quite frankly, Salt Lake City has grown accustomed to its flights and its face on the front of the Delta Center; it was a sponsor of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and is a major employer of Utahns..
But what if Delta left?
Tarry Hutton, Business Traveler: “I think it would affect me. Delta is convenient to most of the places I fly anyway.”
Jeff Fitter, Business Traveler: “It would because it’s a direct flight from St. Louis to Salt Lake.”
In fact, direct access to any other major city in the United States.
Brian Hollien, Morris Murdock Travel Agency: “I think short term there would definitely be an increase in price until other carriers came into the market.”
And there is economic impact. Delta provides easy access for Utah tourism, conventions -- like last week's huge Outdoor Retailer's Show, and the ski industry where a recent poll shows 50 percent of those flying in fly Delta.
Nathan Rafferty, Ski Utah: “The air service that comes into Salt Lake City is our lifeline.”
But for Delta to survive, its CEO says, “Regrettably, one of the consequences will be fewer jobs and additional changes to pay and benefits for all our employees as we make operational changes to achieve the necessary cost savings."
The pilots union will meet with Delta representatives tomorrow and that could be a key meeting in terms of what ultimately happens.