New SRQ carrier Allegiant has safety record scrutinized on '60 Minutes'

60 Minutes Preview: Is Allegiant Airlines Safe to Fly?

"If "60 Minutes" had been interested in current information, they would have reported that today, according to just-released Department of Transportation data, Allegiant is a leader in reliability, with the second-lowest cancelation rate among all US airlines". There have been far too many aborted takeoffs, inflight mechanical problems and emergency landings involving Allegiant planes in recent years.

The CBS program "60 Minutes" reported Sunday night that Allegiant experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents on flights between January 2016 and October 2017.

An Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83 passenger jet takes off from the Monterey airport in Monterey, California, February 26, 2012.

A memo to employees from Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said they were ready to "fight back" against CBS, arguing the 60 Minutes' story was based on outdated statistics.

The "60 Minutes" investigation used fresher data to examine similar issues. The five, who were interviewed on camera, detailed experiences ranging from disappointment to anger to trauma.

"We believe that the efforts of Allegiant's workers to join together and speak with one voice is having a positive impact on the culture of safety at the airline".

A local travel agent is disputing a report from 60 Minutes that claimed Allegiant Airlines has placed passengers on planes with safety or maintenance issues.

Joel Embiid clears concussion protocol, remains out for Game 2
According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Embiid passed the NBA's concussion protocol, but remains out. The 7-footer wore the mask during pregame shooting drills and would need one in the postseason.

There wasn't an incoming or departing Allegiant flight at the time, but passengers who saw the report said, it shook them.

"The FAA exercises rigorous oversight of Allegiant, as they do all airlines operating in the United States", Allegiant Vice President of Operations Eric Gunst said in a written statement issued after the CBS story aired. As of February 2, Allegiant operated 37 McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 planes and 53 Airbus A320 jets. "We are confident that no other airline is under more scrutiny by the FAA than Allegiant". The MD-80, according to the report, makes up 30 percent of the Allegiant fleet, and most of those planes were bought "second-hand from foreign airlines".

Allegiant Air attacked the report, calling it grossly misleading.

Airlines are frequently the subject of bad publicity, often around poor customer service. A 2016 investigation by the Tampa Bay Times raised similar concerns.

On Monday, we spoke with Allegiant passengers in St. Pete. He said the airline is in the process of replacing its fleet with new Airbus jets, and in January had the second lowest number of flight cancellations among US carriers. He explained since those incidents, Allegiant has made improvements. The audit is a voluntary review conducted by the International Air Transport Association to assess the management and control systems of an airline.

"Had we identified such problems, the FAA would have taken immediate action", the statement read.

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