updated 8/23/2007 8:43:25 PM ET 2007-08-24T00:43:25

Travelers will be able to fly from the shores of the Great Salt Lake to the banks of the Seine without stopping next summer.

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Delta Air Lines Inc. on Thursday introduced a new nonstop route from Salt Lake City International Airport to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. It's the first trans-Atlantic flight from Utah, which is a major hub for Atlanta-based Delta.

"There is something different about a state and a city that has direct links across the Atlantic and across the Pacific. It is a huge deal," Gov. Jon Huntsman said during a news conference to announce the route.

Delta President and Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastain said the airline, which exited bankruptcy in April, chose Paris as the European destination from Utah because of Delta's partnership with Air France. Passengers can get from Paris to just about anywhere in the world, and the direct flight from Salt Lake City will eliminate at least one stop.

Starting June 2, Flight 170 will depart from Salt Lake City each day and arrive in Paris the next morning. Flight 171 will run from de Gaulle to Salt Lake City. The trip will take about 10 hours each way.

"It's good to get it started," Bastain said. "Then we'll certainly gauge how the flight is doing to determine future expansion opportunity."

State officials hope the flight from Paris will attract people from all over Europe who want to see the American West. Utah's tourism promotions tout the state's five national parks and skiing on the "Greatest Snow on Earth" — as it says on the license plates.

"I'm just delighted it's online and we can continue to attract people," said Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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