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SkyWest began regular service from Salt Lake City to Moab and Vernal on March 2, and, according to at least one tourism official, the flights are doing well.

SkyWest offers two round-trip flights daily from Thursday to Monday and one round-trip flight daily on Tuesday and Wednesday to Moab. The airline also offers daily flights to Vernal.

Airline officials said the flights are timed to provide maximum connection opportunities in Salt Lake City, where there are 260 daily flights to more than 80 destinations.

"SkyWest already provides extensive air-service options for passengers across the state, and we look forward to providing direct air service to Salt Lake City for those living in eastern Utah," said Mike Thompson, SkyWest Airlines vice president in charge of market development. "With the convenience of these new flights, it is a great time to fly local in Moab and Vernal."

A check of the cost of round-trip flights on in early April to Vernal showed fares of $395.50 on the new service. Weekday flights in May dropped to $197.50. During the same period, Moab fares cost between $253.50 and $273.50. Weekday flights in May were $173 round-trip.

Passengers fly in Embraer-manufactured EMB 120 30-passenger turboprops.

Flights to Moab and Vernal can be booked through

Marian DeLay, executive director of the Moab Area Travel Council, said that reports she has received about the flight status have been good.

"This service is a great opportunity for Moab because it is partnered through Delta, United and Alaska Airlines," said Delay. "With Salt Lake City being a Delta hub, the opportunity to fly through that hub becomes far more convenient for locals and travelers. I will use it for my next trip to Chicago in April."

Writing on SkyWest's SkyBlog, corporate communications specialist Layne Watson said the flights to Moab help make it easier for visitors to explore Canyonlands Country.

"Moab is rapidly becoming known as the adventure capital of the United States thanks to its thousands of miles of biking trails, access to two scenic rivers and world-class hiking for people of all skill levels," Watson wrote recently. "While it's true that there are other destinations that offer the same activities, few can compete with the beautiful backdrop of red sandstone and hundreds of natural arches sprawling across the two national parks."

Twitter: @tribtomwharton

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