AirTran in Talks with Salt Lake City Airport

AirTran Airways has had talks with officials of Salt Lake City International Airport about providing low-fare service that would compete with discount rivals such as Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways.

"It is an airline we have had continuing discussions with. We've been receiving indications that there may be a time they are interested in coming here," airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann said Tuesday.

No agreements have been reached, Gann said, adding that "it's not that far along."

AirTran officials refused to confirm a direct interest in flying in and out of Salt Lake. "We meet with airports all the time and are constantly evaluating markets," spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.

AirTran offers low-fare flights primarily from its Atlanta hub, where it is the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport behind Delta Air Lines.

In November, AirTran forged a partnership with Frontier Airlines that gives Salt Lake travelers the opportunity to earn frequent-flier miles on either carrier.

Frontier flies mostly to Western cities, including Salt Lake. Although AirTran doesn't fly directly to Salt Lake, its Web site does list the airport, and visitors to the site who inquire about a trip to Salt Lake are automatically routed to Frontier.

The Salt Lake airport has enough room to accommodate another carrier, Gann said, adding that officials are talking to other airlines about additional service. She declined to identify them.

"It's one of the airport's goals to maintain a healthy mix of carriers and service," she said.

AirTran Airways

* Headquarters: Orlando, Fla.

* Destinations: 50 cities, mostly in the East

* Number of daily flights: About 700

* Hub: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

* Employees: 7,500

* Fleet: Boeing 717s, 737-700s



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