Delta Air Lines has lost out in the battle for the route from Spokane, Wash., to Vancouver, British Columbia, which it would have originated at Delta's Salt Lake City hub.

Continental Airlines won the route, said Delta spokesman Fred Rollins.However, speaking Wednesday to the monthly luncheon meeting of the Utah Air Travel Commission, Rollins said Delta - which assumed the route when it acquired Western Airlines - is not willing to accept the decision.

He told the commission his company has filed documents with the U.S. Department of Transportation challenging the decision.

Rollins said one of the two documents is a petition asking DOT to reconsider the decision handed down Aug. 8 by Matthew V. Scocozza, an assistant secretary who has since reportedly gone into private law practice. The other is a motion to reopen the record in the case.

Rollins said the department's decision was surprising because, he said, Continental has reduced its service from Denver, where it would originate its Seattle-Spokane-Vancouver route, by about one third.

The commission voted unanimously to draft a letter of support for Delta's position to the Department of Transportation.

American Airlines also submitted a bid for the route.