SLC's Importance to Delta Grows

Delta now flies nonstop to 108 cities from Salt Lake, which is more than any other airline serving destinations from any other airport in the west.

Although some prices might be higher, industry analysts say that airline service in Utah's capital would be limited if it didn't have Delta's hub. Milwaukee, which has more residents than Salt Lake, has 50 destinations. Raleigh, N.C., has 37. Providence, R.I., has 27.

"To be honest, Salt Lake would probably have nonstop service to a maximum of 40 destinations," said airline analyst Michael Boyd, president of The Boyd Group in Evergreen, Colo.

Utah's economy probably would not be as robust without Delta. Together with its ASA and SkyWest partners, Delta is directly and indirectly responsible for 13,000 jobs in the state. They provide $2.5 billion in annual economic benefit, according to Delta.

"This is not just about people flying or shipping cargo," said John Heimlich, chief economist of the Air Transport Association. "This is to the benefit of hotels, restaurants, convention centers, travel and tourism. It's exactly why airports compete for more service."

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