Allegiant Air under fire after ’60 Minutes’ safety report

LAS VEGAS — The low-cost carrier Allegiant Air is under fire following a “60 Minutes” investigation that raised significant safety concerns.

Investigators with the news program found that between Jan. 1, 2016 and October 2017, the Las Vegas airline experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including aborted takeoffs, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions and midair engine failures.

More than a year’s worth of Federal Aviation Administration reports for Allegiant and seven other airlines show the carrier was on average nearly 3 1/2 times more likely to have a midair breakdown than Delta, United, American, Spirit or JetBlue.

Captain 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.

Gust also said Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs.

“To suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory,” he said.

Shares of parent company Allegiant Travel Co. slid 4.6 percent in early trading.

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