Allegiant says 60 Minutes report 'irresponsible and misleading'

Local travel agent backs Allegiant Airlines

Local travel agent backs Allegiant Airlines

In a statement Monday, Allegiant said it has 31 MD-80s in its entire fleet.

A memo to employees from Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said they were ready to "fight back" against CBS, arguing the 60 Minutes' story was based on outdated statistics.

Canadian global affairs analyst and former aviation journalist Michael Bociurkiw said it's "absolutely shocking" that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration hasn't taken action against Allegiant, given the number of mechanical problems the airline's fleet has allegedly experienced. Both the federal agency and the airline denied this was the case.

We checked on that project with a Charlotte County spokesman who said Allegiant has not yet submitted a site plan for review.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, the top Democrat on the committee that oversees airlines, asked the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general to investigate how the FAA handled safety incidents involving Allegiant. "We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001".

A Kentucky pilot and aviation expert is offering a bold, yet grim prediction about the future of Allegiant following a scathing 60 Minutes report.

"CBS produced a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and ignoring publicly available facts", Allegiant's Vice-President of Operations Eric Gust said. "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards", Gust said. Since that time, the FAA said it has conducted ongoing evaluations of Allegiant's safety compliance, as it does with all airlines, and has not identified any significant problems.

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"To that end, we welcome any outside review of our safety oversight system, and we welcome the opportunity to present a complete and accurate picture of how that system works".

"We have reason to believe this story was instigated by a terminated employee", Allegiant wrote in a letter to employees.

You probably have used this airline to save money, but a bombshell report says it could be one of the most unsafe airlines in the country.

"We have had no incidents", he said Monday.

FAA records obtained in 2016 by Alternative Research Services owner Robert MacArthur found the airline was plagued by emergency landings, failed take-offs, engine troubles and other issues.

CBS said that FAA records it received by filing a Freedom of Information Act request indicate that Allegiant flights were 3-1/2 times more likely to suffer an inflight breakdown than flights operated by USA airlines American, United, Delta, JetBlue or Spirit. The airline has reported fewer mechanical incidents as it phases out its aging MD-80 aircraft.

Allegiant service means $1 million a year to the local airport, because it carries more than 10,000 passengers a year on the Florida route.

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