REDMOND, OR -- Allegiant Airlines returns to Redmond, this fall, after a seven year hiatus. Allegiant's Bud Hafer says, "Year-round Las Vegas service will begin October third, and that twice weekly service will run on Thursdays and Sundays. The year-round Phoenix-Mesa service will begin October fourth. That service will be twice weekly, as well, and will operate on Fridays and Mondays." The low-cost airline left Redmond in 2012, after five years of service, citing poor demand. But Hafer tells KBND News the company is ready to recommit to the region, "We're bigger in the area; bigger in Oregon, itself - we've grown in both Eugene and Medford - so we know there's a bigger demand. More population [means] more of a demand we can see throughout the system."
Hafer says Tuesday's announcement is not in response to Sun Country Airline's decision to offer seasonal flights from Redmond to Vegas, starting in September. But, he notes, competition is good for passengers. Mayor George Endicott says there's room for both, "There's a recognition, obviously, by these two airlines that we're continuing to grow, continuing to offer opportunities. They know there's a pent up demand, so they're trying to satisfy it."
Mayor Endicott says the return of Allegiant should be a boon for Roberts Field, "We figure this is going to add about a 7% increase in the number of passengers that we have going through Redmond." With United Airline's new new seasonal flight to Chicago, which started this month, and the new Sun Country and Allegiant services, Endicott says, "We're estimating that by the end of the year, we're going to pass a million mark for Redmond. So, we continue to grow." And, he tells KBND News, those increases in passenger and airline landing fees will benefit the airport, "The more activity we have, the more money, the more growth."
Redmond Airport Director Zach Bass tells KBND News construction now underway on new "aprons" - or parking spaces - for larger mainline planes is paid for by those fees. Allegiant plans to use an Airbus 319, which seats about 150 passengers, for the Vegas service. Phoenix flights will use a 319 or 320, capable of seating up to 186 passengers. Bass says those larger planes will use the new aprons. Currently, the airport has only one overnight parking spot for mainline jets.