REDMOND, OR -- Roberts Field has secured air service from Redmond to Phoenix-Sky Harbor, beginning this summer – much earlier than initially anticipated. American Airlines will offer daily, nonstop flights beginning June second. The first tickets went on sale Sunday.
Airport Director Zach Bass says Phoenix was the last large hub west of Kansas not already served by Redmond. "Currently, we already fly to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LAX, Salt Lake City and Denver. With the addition of Phoenix, again, that’s kind of the last large hub for connectivity for Redmond, right now." Flights will depart Central Oregon each day at noon. Return flights will leave Phoenix at 8:15 p.m.
He says a $500,000 federal grant helped convince American to take a chance on the popular destination. "We are able to see how many people currently start in Redmond and fly to Phoenix, so we have a basic idea of how many people daily are moving from Redmond, stopping at another hub, then moving on to Phoenix. We’re expecting, though, it’s always a slow start up to change travel habits; and that’s where the SCASDP and revenue guarantee comes in for the airlines."
Allegiant Air flew from Redmond to Mesa-Phoenix Airport, from 2007 until 2012. They discontinued the flight due to lower than expected revenues. Bass credits Central Oregonians for helping to secure the new service. "All of this is really based on Central Oregon customers using this resource, flying on the current flights that we have, packing them as full as possible; and that gives us a lot of credence to go out and get new flights to the destinations we have, and even new destinations, like Phoenix."