April 18, 2018 06:10 AM
Allegiant Air is under fire following a 60 Minutes report that aired on April 15th showing its planes were three-times more likely have to mechanical problems compared to most of its competitors. The report, citing FAA records obtained under the Freedom of Information Law, highlighted an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, emergency descents, and unscheduled landings.
News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke has been investigating Allegiant’s safety record since it came to Rochester. In the last few years, the airline has expanded service into and out Rochester International but along the way, there have been complaints from passengers about customer service, mechanical and safety issues. FAA records previously reviewed by News10NBC and reported on showed from 2015 through the early part of 2017, Allegiant had a pattern of safety concerns that led to a number of cancellations and emergency landings. Airline experts said because the company’s fleet of planes included many older models that had been retired by other airlines, maintenance was an issue.
In statement after statement issued to News10NBC in the past, the company apologized to customers for issues and promised to do better. It has since been replacing older planes with newer models and current FAA audits show safety and on-time ratings are improving.
On Sunday evening, 60 Minutes aired a long-form story that highlighted many of the past issues. In response, Captain Eric Gust, Vice President of Operations at Allegiant said in a statement, “It is unfortunate and disappointing that CBS 60 Minutes has chosen to air a false narrative about Allegiant and the FAA. This unoriginal and outdated story bears no resemblance to Allegiant’s operations today, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of FAA compliance practice and history. It focused primarily on events of several years past, prior to the FAA’s most recent comprehensive audit of Allegiant Air, which revealed no systemic or regulatory deficiencies.”
Updated: April 18, 2018 06:10 AM
Created: April 16, 2018 04:44 PM
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