Allegiant Air to halt flights to Redmond, Ore.

REDMOND, Ore. (AP) Airport officials in Redmond hope they can land passenger flights to Los Angeles to make up for the loss of Allegiant Air service later this summer.

City officials plan to cut up to $575,000 from the airport budget next year because of Allegiant's departure Aug. 12.

The Las Vegas-based discount carrier had about 11 percent of the Redmond market last year with flights to Oakland, Calif., and Mesa, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb.

The city hopes the airport can continue to grow despite losing Allegiant, and Los Angeles International Airport is among their top targets, the Bend Bulletin reported.

"Before this happened (with Allegiant), we were looking to expand service," City Manager David Brandt told the newspaper. "The one thing this does is reinforce to us that the Redmond airport primarily serves the business traveler. Losing Allegiant, which lends itself more to vacationers, kind of reinforces that."

City officials say they've have set their sights on service to Los Angeles International Airport in part because southern California appeals to both leisure and business travelers.

For the past two months, the city has worked with aviation consultants Mead & Hunt in identifying where departing passengers are going where they want to go.

Many Redmond passengers who fly to San Francisco, Portland or Denver connect to a second flight. The airport's goal is to identify where those second flights land and develop direct flights to in-demand destinations.

"The consultants are helping us see where the community priorities are," Airport Director Kim Dickie said . "They really help us get information for what our market is here. We can eventually take that to our carriers here ... but we have to do our homework first."

The city expects a full report on desired destinations to be available in June.

The airport earns income for each departing passenger. After losing the income from Allegiant, the city will keep vacant a custodian position, halt upgrades to security cameras and reduce facility improvements like sealing the parking lots.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press

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