File - In this May 9, 2013, file photo, two Allegiant Air jets taxi at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Shares of Allegiant Air’s parent company are tumbling in Monday, April 16, 2018, premarket trading following a “60 Minutes” investigation that expressed serious safety concerns about the airline. (AP Photo/David Becker, File)

Allegiant Air under fire after '60 Minutes' safety report

April 16, 2018 - 8:54 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) — 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 that the carrier was on average nearly three and a half 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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