For about two months this fall, Central Oregon travelers will be able to choose between two different airlines for trips to Las Vegas, the region’s most-requested leisure travel destination.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant announced Tuesday that it would return to Redmond Airport in October with service to Las Vegas and Phoenix. The announcement comes after Sun Country Airlines, a similar low-cost carrier based in Minneapolis, said in April that it would fly between Redmond and Las Vegas from Sept. 5 to Dec. 15.

Allegiant left Redmond in August 2012, but Airport Director Zachary Bass said he and his team have been pitching the airline for years on Central Oregon’s growth and potential profitability. The airline might have come back sooner but also needed to have planes and pilots available.

“Everything has to come together,” Bass said. “That’s why it’s a big deal.”

When Allegiant left, it was offering service to Las Vegas; Oakland, California; and Phoenix.

“There is a possibility of them adding Oakland back and a Los Angeles flight in the future,” Bass said. “Again, we’ll see what happens there.”

Allegiant also represents a second option for Central Oregonians headed to Phoenix. American Airlines currently flies to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport from Redmond. Allegiant will use Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport .

Like Sun Country, Allegiant will run its routes twice a week, but Allegiant is planning to offer the flights year-round, Bass said.

Allegiant will fly either an Airbus 319 or Airbus 320 with 150 seats to 180 seats, Bass said. The airport is in the process of expanding ramp parking to accommodate larger aircraft, and the project is expected to be complete in September.

Details about Allegiant’s flight schedules and fares are available at Allegiant.com. Flights to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas start Oct. 3, and flights to Phoenix-Mesa start Oct. 4.

“We’re very excited to bring our brand of convenient, friendly service to yet another city in Oregon — Redmond,” Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue, said in a press release. “We’re certain that area travelers will love having an ultra-­low-cost, nonstop option to get away to Las Vegas and Phoenix.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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