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UTAH OFFICIALS WANT DELTA TO BUY CONTINENTAL'S ROUTE TO LONDON

Utah aviation officials hope Delta will buy Continental's Denver-to-London route and make it a Salt Lake-to-London route.

Phoenix also wants the route and Continental isn't sure it wants to move or sell the route.On Oct. 30, Continental is cutting its 170 daily departures from Denver to 23, including reducing its four flights across the Atlantic to just one per week.

The airline also is eliminating its three daily Salt Lake-to-Denver flights and its only presence in Utah will be its regional reservations center.

Phoenix officials are proposing Continental shift the route to Sky Harbor.

"At the present time, the one (Denver-London) flight per week as of Oct. 30 is a viable schedule," said Continental spokesman Ted Brady in Los Angeles.

However, he said Continental is discussing the Phoenix proposal with city officials there, and the airline is open to conversations with other cities as well.

Brady said Continental is exploring whether to sell the route, move it or keep it in Denver.

Delta is "always interested in opportunities to serve London," said Atlanta-based spokesman Tom Lazour, who declined to say more about the issue. "It would be pure speculation if I went any further than that."

Robert S. Campbell Jr., chairman of the Utah Air Travel Commission's international committee, contends moving the route to Phoenix rather than Salt Lake City would violate the U.S. Department of Transportation's policy.

DOT's "certificate is a geographical certificate," Campbell said. "Denver-to-London was granted to give Intermountain West travelers access to Europe. Moving it to Phoenix-London would circumvent that."