The Central Oregon Air Service Team (COAST) has worked to secure a federal grant to attract new service to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX).
Only 10 of these grants were provided nationwide. As part of the grant, there was a commitment from the region to provide marketing activities, reduced landing fees and other incentives that today are typical for new commercial service recruitment.
COAST also committed the region to raising an additional $100,000 for the revenue guarantee, which would be combined with the $500,000 in federal funds.
Roger Lee, executive director of Economic Development for Central Oregon, said originally the airline, which has not been released, was hoping to start service in spring 2017. However, the timetable has been significantly accelerated to summer 2016, he said.
Direct flights to and from Redmond via Phoenix will open up new opportunities for our entire region, said Bend Chamber President and CEO Tim Casey.
“Central Oregon is limited in terms of access from outside the area, air service is crucial to supporting our local economy,” Casey said.
Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA) has identified the greater Phoenix, Arizona area as a key target in new tourism destination market development, said Alana Hughson, CEO of COVA.
“Daily, non-stop jet service from PHX creates an excellent opportunity to develop awareness in a seasonally favorable market and we are tremendously excited about this opportunity,” Hughson said. “The COVA team has already prepared a messaging and media strategy for Phoenix and has earmarked ‘new market development funds’ within the FY16 budget.”