A Kentucky pilot and aviation expert is offering a bold, yet grim prediction about the future of Allegiant following a scathing 60 Minutes report.
Allegiant says the incidents cited were outdated, although the news magazine did examine an additional 100 incidents between early 2016 and late 2017.
Allegiant Airlines strongly disputes the nationally broadcast report that it has three times the safety problems of competing airlines. FAA officials took no enforcement action against Allegiant and said they were satisfied that the airline was addressing problems found by inspectors.
In addition, Gust alleges that the 60 Minutes report was "instigated" by an ex-employee that is trying to extract money from Allegiant. The five, who were interviewed on camera, detailed experiences ranging from disappointment to anger to trauma.
Allegiant responded by saying it hasn't had a fatal crash since 2001.
It took Steve Kroft seven months to complete a "60 minutes" report dealing with the investigation on the safety record of the air craft- Allegiant air.
"I hate to make comparisons, but we've seen that before in airlines that are no longer with us that had experienced a number of accidents and killed a bunch of people", he said, before adding that he would tell his friends and family not to fly with the carrier.
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Our Scripps sister station in Las Vegas, KTNV, also reported on safety concerns in an extensive investigation two and a half years ago.
The AP reported that Capt. Eric Gust, vice president of operations at Allegiant, said in a prepared statement that "60 Minutes" aired a "false narrative" about Allegiant and the FAA, which he said exercises "rigorous oversight" of the airline.
Allegiant said it is "offensive" to imply the company would ask anyone to operate an unsafe aircraft.
"Had anything been noted by the FAA that would have looked as though the airline was unsafe or was operating in a reckless fashion they would have suspended operations until everything was as it needed to be". According to AirFleets.net, a service that tracks aircraft owned by airlines, the average age of the MD-80s that Allegiant still operates is 28.2 years old. There have been fewer incidents, which Weinkrantz attributes to Allegiant replacing much its aging and less reliable MD-80 fleet with new Airbus jets.
Ron Lopez was also boarding the flight from Stockton to Las Vegas Monday. We'll get you up in the air as soon as possible.' As we started taxiing, everything was going OK and then as soon as the wheels came up, the engine blew.
However, locally, Allegiant's record of poor on-time performance and unhelpful customer service has caused some travel agents to steer clear of the airline. What we found raised some disturbing questions about the performance of their fleet. The audit is a voluntary review conducted by the International Air Transport Association to assess the management and control systems of an airline. The review didn't find "any systemic safety or regulatory problems", although it did identify "a number of less serious issues, which Allegiant addressed".