IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls Regional Airport hit a milestone Friday, sending their first commercial flight directly to Portland, Oregon.
The inaugural journey was made by Allegiant Airlines Flight 2680, which carried about 200 people to the Rose City.
“(Our) inaugural flight to Portland, Oregon on Allegiant Air was the first direct flight service from Idaho Falls to Portland, so we’re very excited about that flight today” Airport Director Rick Cloutier said.
Airport officials say the flight brings new travel opportunities for eastern Idahoans, and increases the region’s connectivity with other parts of the country and the world. It also benefits the region economically by allowing faster travel in and out of eastern Idaho.
To commemorate the event, the airport held a water salute, which is a longstanding traditional ceremony marking the opening of new travel destination. The involves fire trucks shooting water over the plane as a send off prior to it disembarking.
In the coming weeks, the airport will be celebrating additional inaugural flights from American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Additionally, the airport is under construction to significantly expand the terminal.
“It’s the beginning of our big summer travel season, but it’s also the start of our many inaugural flights that will happen over the next few weeks with three or four different airlines,” Cloutier said. “This flight was just the kickoff for it. We had over 90 percent capacity on this flight so we sent about 200 people to the Portland area today.”
The Idaho Falls Regional Airport currently offers Allegiant flights to and from Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland, in California and now Portland.