Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

'60 Minutes' Blasts Allegiant Air's Safety Record

'60 Minutes' Blasts Allegiant Air's Safety Record

A CBS 60 Minutes investigation that aired Sunday night looked at Allegiant Air's record of inflight incidents, mechanical malfunctions and passenger experiences.

The low-priced airline based out of Las Vegas, with several flights coming through Concord Regional Airport, reportedly has more than three times the number of serious in-flight mechanical failures as other U.S. Airlines, according to the results of a seven-month investigation by the 60 Minutes team. "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss how public documents reveal a startling number of mechanical issues with Allegiant's aircraft. Allegiant thought the evacuation was unnecessary and fired the pilot six weeks later. The Times examined the Las Vegas-based budget airline's safety record for 2015, finding that Allegiant made emergency landings at four times the rate of other USA airlines.

The agency said that Allegiant's reported incidents rate has trended downward in recent years, including diversions and emergency landings, with Allegiant having reported 0.0029 events per 1,000 departures in 2017.

Neither DeNardi and Syth have ever flown the airline, though both said they would have no reservations doing so. Wolfe Research raised shares of Allegiant Air from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st.

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"I want to tell you personally that I am outraged and astounded by the irresponsible, grossly misleading story aired by CBS 60 Minutes", Gust said in the letter.

The CBS segment also hit out at the FAA's lack of enforcement actions against Allegiant's systemic safety issues. To suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory. For example, the show's star interviewee, John Goglia, is not an un-biased commentator; he is a paid expert working for a former Allegiant pilot who has sued Allegiant. Allegiant planes were forced to make 60 unscheduled landings and had 46 in-flight emergencies during that time frame, "60 Minutes" found. Surprisingly, the 60 Minutes presentation of Mr. Kinzer's case omits this publicly-available side of the story. "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards".

Two years ago, 7 Eyewitness News spoke with Allegiant passengers who were upset after their flight to Niagara Falls was diverted to Syracuse.

In response to the investigation, Allegiant issued a statement on Sunday night, in which they called the report "grossly misleading" and noted that the story was instigated by a "terminated employee now involved in a lawsuit seeking money damages from the company". We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001.

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