Now boarding: American RDM-LAX flights go on sale

Community raises $350,000 for flight, sets national record

POSTED: 1:59 PM PDT April 9, 2013    UPDATED: 4:39 PM PDT April 7, 2013 
REDMOND, Ore. -

As promised, American Airlines began selling their new Redmond-to-Los Angeles direct flights online Sunday, with a one-way ticket as low as $170 and a round-trip fare starting at $290.

Flight 2675 will be operated by Skywest Airlines as American Eagle on the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets, starting June 12th.

The new flights are the result of Central Oregonians coming together in just 12 days to raise $350,000--setting a new national record along the way.

"A record for the shortest amount of time to raise a travel bank -- I think 12 days has never been beat," Economic Development for Central Oregon Executive Director Roger Lee said at Thursday's big announcement.

The daily flight will leave Redmond each day at 8:10 a.m., touching down in L.A. at 10:25. The return flight will take off in L.A.  at 6:50 p.m. and land back in Redmond at 8:55.

A press conference held at Redmond Airport Thursday morning brought together the community members who made it happen.

"I think this, for Central Oregon, is the most important event that is going to happen in 2013," Deschutes County Commissioner Alan Unger saud in a short speech.

American Airlines is bringing the 50-seat Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet service to RDM.

Airline spokesman Dale Morris told the crowd American Airlines expects flights will be driven by the business community -- pleasure travelers will be an added bonus.

"There's a great opportunity for business, huge opportunity for business, and then being able to connect to a large business center like Los Angeles," Morris said.

"I have clients to take care of in Southern California, and as it is now I have to take a roundabout way to get there, so for us, we were excited about it," said financial advisor Kenny Larkin.

The new flight could be the gateway to even more flights in the future.

"It's great to get another air carrier to come on board and service the community," said Airport Director Kim Dickie. "It could also mean an opportunity down the road for potentially other cities."

More than 120 people, businesses and organizations got on board with pledges, then cash for tickets to support the new flight.. And although it's a record time for filling a travel bank, not many are surprised by the success

"That shows you what Central Oregon can do," Unger said.

Those who bought into the the travel banks were told they would be getting their account numbers Friday and Saturday.