Beginning in August and September, Delta Air Lines is cutting flights from Salt Lake City International Airport to five cities as a cost-saving measure.
The cities are Yuma, Ariz.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; Bakersfield, Calif.; Durango, Colo.; and Pittsburgh.
Additionally, flights to three cities that had been regular routes for the airline will become seasonal routes. Those cities are Toronto; Charlotte, N.C.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Those routes will be pulled by the end of August and will return at some point in the winter, said Delta spokesman Anthony Black.
"It comes down to supply, demand, and it ultimately comes down to yield," or the profit margins the airline makes from a route, he said Wednesday.
Delta had announced a 10 percent cut in routes at the beginning of the year and recently announced an additional 3 percent cut in routes to help save on increasing jet-fuel prices. Delta employs about 3,500 people in Utah. Salt Lake City International Airport is a hub in the carrier's system.
Even if some flights could be booked at nearly 100 percent capacity, the airline might not be making any money with increasing fuel costs, Black said. The airline has to make a decision about whether to increase fares to keep up with fuel or to cut routes.
"When you continue to raise the price as it resides on oil, ultimately people are not going to fly because it's too expensive," he said.
Rather than raising prices more, the airline is cutting routes, Black said.
As for the Delta routes that will become seasonal, the planes will be flown in other parts of the world when not used to shuttle people out of Salt Lake Cy."The down time in one market could be an up time in another market," Black said.
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