Delta Announces Plans for Daily Nonstop Service from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam and Mexico City

On May 1, 2015, Delta will begin nonstop operations between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam with five flights per week and then increase to daily operations two weeks later. Photo source: VisitSaltLake.com

The shovels had barely broken the earth for the ground breaking of Salt Lake City International Airport’s $1.8 billion terminal redevelopment program in July when Delta Air Lines announced plans to launch daily nonstop service from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam and Mexico City.

The nonstop flights are part of a planned expansion from Delta’s Mountain West hub over the next several years.

“Salt Lake City is a core strength of our network in the Western United States, and the market has embraced Delta as the city’s global carrier,” says Bob Cortelyou, Delta’s SVP of network planning. “The expansion of our international flying from Salt Lake City not only solidifies Delta’s commitment to the market, but also the city’s standing as a place of global commerce for business and leisure travelers alike.”

Delta is the largest airline in Salt Lake City with more than 260 peak-day departures to nearly 90 destinations, including seven international destinations. The airline provides significant connection opportunities for Utah, including multiple daily flights to key U.S. business markets. The airline is also one of the largest private employers in the Beehive State with more than 3,500 employees. Delta partners closely with many organizations in Salt Lake City and serves as the official airline of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions Program, the Utah Jazz and the U.S. Ski, Snowboarding and Freeskiing teams. The new Delta Performance Hall in the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City is scheduled to open in July 2016.

The new service will be part of a planned 8 percent capacity increase at Delta’s Salt Lake City hub over the next five years. The airline’s existing daily nonstop service from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, launched in June 2008, is currently the only trans-Atlantic service offered by any airline from Salt Lake City. Operations between Salt Lake City and Amsterdam will start with five flights a week beginning May 1, 2015, and increase to daily operations on two weeks later.

The Amsterdam route offers Delta customers connecting opportunities to more than 60 destinations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa through Delta’s joint venture agreements with Air France, KLM and Alitalia. Amsterdam has always been a strategically important hub for Delta, according to Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s SVP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The expansion of Delta’s Salt Lake City International Airport hub will provide Utah travelers with greater options when flying across the Atlantic, while the nonstop service to Mexico City will offer greater options for flights to Central America.

Last January, Delta President Ed Bastian met with the Salt Lake City Airport Advisory Board to share Delta’s plans to expand capacity. Delta began service in Salt Lake City in 1980 but traces its roots in the market to 1926 through its history with the former Western Airlines.

“We appreciate the close partnership we’ve shared with Salt Lake City through the years, and we fully support the terminal redevelopment program that will modernize the facility and vastly improve the customer experience,” says Holden Shannon, Delta’s SVP of corporate real estate, who spoke at the groundbreaking event. “With the renewal of our lease, we look forward to continuing our strong partnership for years to come as we work to provide the best experience and more travel options for our customers flying through our Mountain West hub.”

Service will be operated using a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft featuring fully flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in a 1x2x1 configuration in the BusinessElite cabin. Customers flying in Economy Comfort, Delta’s premium economy service, will benefit from up to four additional inches of legroom and 50 percent more recline than Delta’s standard international economy class seats, as well as priority boarding.

“We are thrilled to see Delta renew its lease in Salt Lake City and also announce the expansion of its services in this market,” says EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards. “It’s a big deal for Utah’s economy, and Delta’s growth in this market is a tribute to the airline and to the growing number of passengers that rely on it for their national and international travels.”

The ground breaking event marked the start of major construction on Salt Lake International Airport’s new terminal, which will replace aging facilities, accommodate growth, address seismic risk and improve operations and customer service. As part of the new lease with the airport, Delta will deploy electric ground service equipment, which will eliminate emissions from those vehicles. The new terminal will feature an open layout with a consolidated security checkpoint, additional concession space and a more efficient concourse and ramp, resulting in reduced taxi times. The new, LEED- certified terminal will have 72 total gates. The first major phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2019..