REDMOND, Ore. - (Update: Comments by airline, airport officials)
Seven years after Allegiant Air stopped its 5-year-old Redmond-to-Las Vegas flights, the low-cost airline is returning to RDM this fall with year-round, twice-weekly flights to both Las Vegas and Phoenix, the company announced Tuesday.
The Redmond-Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) flights begin Thursday, Oct. 3 and the flights to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (AZA) the next day, using Airbus A320-family aircraft, according to several news reports.
Allegiant and RDM officials held a mid-morning news conference Tuesday to detail the new offerings, but the airline's home page already was touting its new Las Vegas to Redmond/Bend nonstop flights at a promotional, one-way price of $69, which must be booked by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday for travel by Feb. 11, 2020.
Allegiant's return to Redmond makes them the sixth airline serving the airport, joining Alaska Air, American, United, Delta and Sun Country, the latter another budget airline which announced in April it will offer seasonal twice-a-week nonstop flights between Redmond and Las Vegas for three months, starting Sept. 5.
An Allegiant representative on hand for the RDM announcement said they expect to see about 16,000 people on the Redmond-Las Vegas flights per year and about 18,000 boardings for the flights to Phoenix-Mesa.
"There's just a lot of people here, a lot of demand," said Bud Hafer, manager of airport affairs for the arline. "And then it's also a far drive to Portland. No one wants to make that drive, so it's having an easy convenient nonstop service."
It's just part of the growth curve RDM continues to see, according to Redmond Airport Director Zach Bass.
"We are probably going to hit a million passengers this year," Bass said. "We are seeing double-digit growth -- we have for the past five years -- and an 85 percent growth in the past five years in passengers here at the airport. This will just add to that. Again, it will push us over the million passenger mark."
Redmond is one of three cities Allegiant Air is adding to its route map, the others being State College, Pennsylvania and Traverse City, Michigan. A total of 10 routes are being added, the Las Vegas-based airline said.
“We’re excited to continue our growth by adding 10 new route options and three new cities to the Allegiant network,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant's vice-president of planning and revenue. “We know customers will love having our convenient, friendly service out of their hometown airport to great destinations across the country.”
The airline pulled out of Roberts Field in 2012, citing lack of demand, after also adding flights between RDM and Phoenix, as well as the Bay Area (Oakland) during its five-year presence.