L.A. flight secured; what's next?
| Central Oregon business leaders discuss future of regional air service
L.A. flight secured; what's next?
Elon Glucklich / The Bulletin
Central Oregon business advocates scored a major win for the region this month, bringing in more than $400,000 in prepaid tickets from the community to secure daily flights from Redmond Municipal Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, starting in June.
What’s next for Redmond Airport?
Restoring service to the Phoenix area is one of several longer-term priorities. Five or 10 years down the road, a push further east to a market like Minneapolis could be possible.
Officials with Economic Development for Central Oregon, Redmond Airport and the Central Oregon Visitors Association discussed the future of regional air service during a Bend Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event at Bend Golf and Country Club on Friday morning.
Discussions of new service are all speculative at this point, EDCO Executive Director Roger Lee told a crowd of about 30. But economic development officials are always exploring new opportunities, he said.
For a smaller airport like Redmond, recruiting new air service is no easy task, and depends heavily on grant money and community fundraising efforts. Central Oregon’s pitch to American Airlines included the $404,000 in pre-paid American Airlines travel tickets, as well as funds from a $500,000 federal grant to offset expected operating losses for the airline in its first year of service. Advertising commitments and airline fee waivers brought the region’s total pitch to about $1.3 million.
It’s a necessary hurdle for small airports to clear, Lee said.
“We’ve had airlines tell us, ‘don’t even talk to us without $1 million’” in upfront commitments, Lee said.
Redmond-to-L.A. air service is set to start June 12, with a 50-seat jet departing Redmond each morning and returning in the evening. American Airlines has announced a two-year commitment.
One of the major short-term efforts now is to expand Central Oregon marketing efforts in Southern California, to ensure the flight secures both business and leisure travelers, said Alana Hughson, COVA president and CEO.
COVA expects to start an advertising campaign showcasing some of the reasons Los Angeles-area residents would want to travel here: wide open spaces, little traffic congestion and outdoor recreation.
“COVA’s role is to step into the Southern California market and tell the (roughly) 20 million people living there that we have an attractive destination,” Hughson said.
Get daily headlines to your inbox
Start your day with our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.
You may not know what Mexican states Jalisco is bounded by (Zacatecas and Michoacan are but two), its capital (Guadalajara), or that it's bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west. But if you've enjoyed arroz con pollo, huevos rancheros, tacos or a shrimp burrito in Bend during the last decade, chances are good that you know what Jalisco tastes like. The Anaya family -…
Some people are crafty. Hand them a stack of pine boughs, they'll give you back a wreath. Give them some yarn and a few knitting needles, and they'll make a holiday sweater. The rest of us are not so lucky. Or maybe we are in luck this time of year, because bazaar season is right around the corner. Take a stroll through one of these…
The reality: That is not true, said Dr. Richard Koller, a Bend neurologist. A sneeze does increase the pressure inside the skull a little bit, he said. People have worried that sneezes may kill brain cells because other things that increase pressure on the brain, such as some types of stroke, can lead to brain cell death or even the death of the person. However,…
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…