(KCPW News) The number of airline seats available to and from Salt Lake City is down as airlines scale back their operations. Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann says the move is an attempt to "right size" the industry.
"So it sounds like, you know, this dramatic cut. But what it really is, is fitting the product to the market, matching supply and demand," Gann says.
Because of the airline industry's strategic effort to scale back capacity, airlines are running fewer, fuller flights. But for passengers, this makes for more crowded flights and fewer options. Overall, departures from Salt Lake City are down by 12 percent, and the number of seats available is down 10 percent. On top of that, service to 21 destinations has been removed.
However, Gann says this is not a unique situation to Salt Lake City or to this economic downturn.
"What we know that we can see in these historical patterns is that the aviation industry is very tightly tied to the national economy," Gann says. "And it fluctuates more rapidly than other things. In other words, it is very cyclical. And we've seen these cycles of rebounding and declining and rebounding that are tied to the national economy."
Gann says while service is being impacted, Salt Lake City's airport is actually faring pretty well. She says Delta, which operates a hub here, is more robust since its merger with Northwest Airlines.