The low-priced airline based out of Las Vegas, with several flights coming through Concord Regional Airport, reportedly has more than three times the number of serious in-flight mechanical failures as other U.S. Airlines, according to the results of a seven-month investigation by the 60 Minutes team.
CBS's 60 Minutes ran an investigation into Allegiant Air's history of in-air trouble and aborted take-offs. "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss how public documents reveal a startling number of mechanical issues with Allegiant's aircraft.
Last July, 10 Allegiant planes had to make unscheduled landings, "60 Minutes" reported. "A longtime FAA lawyer told 60 Minutes" that she has "never ever heard of an airline firing a pilot for an emergency evacuation".
But Kinzer's story is just one of the incidents detailed in the report.
On its social media feed, Allegiant answered those who tweeted they were anxious by asking them to send a private message.
Allegiant posted a new statement after the segment aired, taking a similar tone to the memo.
The "60 Minutes" story is not about old incidents: Between Jan. 1, 2016 and the end of October 2017, "60 Minutes" found more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs. Kroft himself said in the "Overtime" segment that he is "flabbergasted" that not more people know about Allegiant's safety record.
60 Minutes reported that "Allegiant has a very high incident rate" for an airline of their size. We are, however, encouraged by the company's shareholder-friendly measures.
"Not only do we expect our team members to adhere to all company procedures and policies, but many positions are subject to statutory and regulatory obligations, the violation of which would not only trigger punitive action from the company, but could also result in enforcement action from regulatory agencies, loss of a certification, and even criminal charges".
Allegiant Travel Company is a leisure travel company.
"CBS produced a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and ignoring publicly-available facts". The Company is focused on providing travel services and products to residents of under-served cities in the United States. Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards. Additionally, we expect our team members to follow all company policies and practice strict adherence to FAA regulations and guidelines.
The report also alleges that Allegiant has a culture of putting profits ahead of the safety.
"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 USA airlines, which is truly the worldwide gold standard in transportation safety", Allegiant vice president of operations Eric Gust said in the statement.
"I want to tell you personally that I am outraged and astounded by the irresponsible, grossly misleading story aired by CBS 60 Minutes", Gust said in the letter.
"Allegiant's team members safely operate thousands of flights each week, which will transport more than 14 million passengers this year".
"Allegiant's workforce is made up of more than 4,000 dedicated and hard-working people who wake up every day thinking about how to move our customers safely from one place to another", Gust stated.