Tri-State flying expert sheds light on Allegiant Air report

60 Minutes’ Report Takes Aim at Allegiant Air

The Tampa Bay Times took a look at the airline in detail in 2016, and based on 60 Minutes' reporting it looks like Allegiant is still having some of the same problems. There have been far too many aborted takeoffs, in-flight mechanical problems and emergency landings involving Allegiant planes in recent years.

It could be different for Allegiant, however, because the focus now is on whether it's safe to fly on the airline. These issues include mid-air engine failures, aborted takeoffs, rapid descents and flight control malfunctions.

In the memo, Allegiant blamed the report on a "terminated employee" who is "currently engaged in a lawsuit seeking money damages against the company".

More than a year's worth of Federal Aviation Administration reports for Allegiant and seven other airlines show that the carrier was on average almost three and a half times more likely to have a midair breakdown than Delta, United, American, Spirit, or JetBlue.

Captain Eric Gust, Allegiant Air's vice president of operations, said: "The story is outdated, bears no resemblances to the Allegiant I know, and shows a real and troubling misunderstanding of the FAA's rigorous oversight of Allegiant and all us airlines, which is truly the worldwide gold standard in transportation safety".

The FAA exercises rigorous oversight of Allegiant, as they do all airlines operating in the United States.

In the years following, the airline replaced its entire fleet of aircraft at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport with Airbus models. In a response to the 60 Minutes story, the FAA reported a sharp decline over the past three years experienced by Allegiant flights.

"My husband has flown Allegiant many times and said he had never had a problem, but I was still nervous after reading all the material slamming Allegiant for their safety record", Ribken said.

Now, Allegiant says that pilot is pushing the story to CBS and paying one of the experts "60 Minutes" interviewed. "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards". Are you concerned by the 60 Minutes report?

Another one of the claims Allegiant made was that CBS was working with old information. That expansion, airport officials say, is to handle the more than 2.6 million passengers, a almost three-fold increase from 901,862 passengers in 2012, at the fast-growing air facility.

The company put out the following statement from vice president of operations Eric Gust. Our team members safely operate thousands of flights each week, which will transport more than 14 million passengers this year.

FAA associate administrator of safety Ali Bahrami defended the agency's performance by pointing to the lack of a fatal crash involving a US airline since 2009, and said FAA regulation "has been very successful" in pushing airlines "to the highest level of safety". The FAA later overruled Allegiant's objections and produced the documents.

Just-released Department of Transportation data shows Allegiant is an industry leader in reliability, with the second-lowest cancellation rate for all domestic airlines, [transportation.gov] behind only Hawaiian.

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