Starting March 9th, Southwest Airlines will offer two daily round-trip flights from Salt Lake City (SLC) to Burbank (BUR) airport, as well as one daily round-trip flight from Salt Lake City to Sacramento International Airport (SMF). Southwest is going head-to-head, on both routes, against Delta Airlines, which has a large, established hub in Salt Lake City.
Southwest is looking to strengthen its position in California, and the airline is one of the top carriers in the state. Southwest already offers plenty of flights between several major California cities, including Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and it's one of the busiest airlines at some of California's largest airports. The competition is intensifying, and with Alaska Airlines' planned merger with Virgin America, Southwest certainly has future competition to deal with as well.
United is also taking a bite out of the California market share with its San Francisco hub, while Delta and American Airlines have bolstered their flight offerings in Los Angeles. Combined with the growing popularity of Spirit, Allegiant and Frontier, the decision by Southwest to add more California routes makes sense.
In Other News...
Virgin America Voted Best U.S. Airline In Condé Nast Traveler's 2016 Readers' Choice Awards For 9th Consecutive Year
California-based Airline Virgin Airlines has, for the ninth consecutive year, been named the Best U.S. Airline, in Condé Nast Traveler. With more than 300,000 survey participants, the airline won the coveted top spot for the ninth year in a row, which is a mark the airline has won every year since its inception.
While the airline racks up accolades among travelers, it also has gained the attention of the airline industry. In April this year, Virgin America was named the top airline in the Airline Quality Report, a yearly study of U.S. domestic airline performance. The study, done by professors at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ranks all U.S.-based airlines on a number of key metrics, including customer complaints, on-time performance and instances of mishandled baggage.
It's easy to see why the airline is popular with travelers as it offers unparalleled customer service, along with plenty of in-flight amenities such as Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment options.
Competing With Foreign Carriers: Delta Considering No-frills Seats On International Flights
Delta Air Lines may start offering no-frills flights on transatlantic routes as a way to fend off competition from budget airliners. With low-cost providers offering rock-bottom prices such as Norwegian Air International, competition is definitely heating up.
Asked during a conference call on how Delta intends to compete with budget carries from Europe, Delta Chief Executive Edward Bastian responded by saying that the airline will think about offering low-cost fares for overseas flights. Though no specifics are set, this is good news for anyone who wants to fly between Europe and the United States.