Safety of Allegiant Air flights in question after '60 Minutes' investigation

Two Allegiant Air jets taxi at Mc Carran International Airport in Las Vegas

Local travel agent backs Allegiant Airlines

On Sunday evening, CBS "60 minutes" aired a scathing report, which found that Allegiant Air's planes had three times as many mechanical problems with flights as six competing airlines between January 2017 and October 2017. In it, the company claimed that it believes that the investigation was triggered by a terminated employee who is suing the airline, and that it plans to fight back against the report. At the start of 2017 it had 47 MD-80 planes, 34 Airbus planes and four older model Boeing jets.

Allegiant's record of breakdowns appears related partly to the age of its fleet, particularly its MD-80 planes, which are almost 28 years old on average and require more maintenance than newer planes. One of the main advantages of flying this airline is that it provides customers with a lower base fare and can take them to a variety of vacation destinations, including Las Vegas, parts of Florida, and Lake Tahoe.

"60 Minutes" based its report on analysis that showed that the low-priced carrier was 3.5 times more likely than other major airlines to have mechanical problems. The review found "an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency descents and unscheduled landings". The report said there was smoke in the cabin and a fire in the engine that prompted the evacuation.

Even after hearing about these issues, some passengers at the Des Moines Airport said they would still fly with Allegiant.

There was Kroft telling the story of an Allegiant pilot who aborted takeoff at Las Vegas airport because something didn't feel right.

Local travel agent backs Allegiant Airlines
Allegiant Air had over 100 'serious mechanical incidents' in 2 years (report)

60 Minutes reports that passengers were not told what they were breathing, but the airline confirmed that the fumes were Skydrol 4, a hazardous hydraulic fluid. The mechanics and related personnel voted to join the Teamsters in March 2018 and have begun laying the groundwork for a first contract that will continue raising the standards for workers at Allegiant Air.

60 Minutes aired an investigation Sunday night that revealed several Allegiant Airlines flights had mechanical problems. American Airlines says it has 44 MD-80s, and none of them fly to Phoenix.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., asked the Transportation Department's inspector general to investigate FAA's handling of safety issues at the airline. Notably, none of the concerns allegedly expressed by Allegiant team members during the 60 Minutes episode were found to have been reported through any of these appropriate channels. "We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001".

Data from federal regulators showed that Allegiant was on average almost 3.5 times more likely to have a mid-air breakdown than other major airlines.

"We're satisfied that ...we are taking the appropriate actions with regard to Allegiant and every other carrier that we work with to make sure that those problems have been appropriately dealt with", John Duncan, the FAA's executive director of flight standards, told "60 Minutes".

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