Allegiant Airlines Gets Scathing Review On ’60 Minutes’
A report on the popular CBS News Magazine '60 Minutes' has raised safety concerns about Allegiant Airlines, which flies to several cities from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.
Allegiant, which is based in Las Vegas, flew more than 12 million people to 120 different destinations last year on their fleet of 99 planes. That fleet is the oldest in the business, according to '60 Minutes.'
The airline, which has shown a profit in 60 consecutive quarters, every quarter since 2003 according to a company profile, is phasing out MD-80 (McDonnell Douglas-80) planes. That's good news because most of the company's problems are associated with those planes. MD-80's were first put into commercial service in October of 1980.
The '60 Minutes' report looked into 22 months of Allegiant records from January of 2016 through the end of October of 2017. The time frame included over 100 mechanical incidents from aborted takeoffs to mid-air engine failures, rapid descents, smoke/fumes in the cabin, hydraulic leaks, and more.
Last July, the CBS news magazine filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for more than a year's "mechanical interruption summary reports" from a total of eight airlines, including Allegiant. They received seven of the eight. The FAA didn't provide Allegiant Airlines' report because the airline had objected to the request.
Allegiant Airlines released this statement to employees prior to the airing of the '60 Minutes' segment:
Following the airing of the segment, Allegiant Air released a statement from Captain Eric Gust, Vice President of Operations for Allegiant. He said, in part,
I am outraged and astounded by the irresponsible, grossly misleading story aired by CBS 60 Minutes...
the 60 Minutes story was instigated by a terminated employee currently involved in a lawsuit seeking money damages from the company. Incidents referenced are years old, and took place before our most recent, comprehensive FAA audit. The story breaks no news."
You can read the full statement HERE.
According to their website, Allegiant flies to Phoenix (AZ), Las Vegas (NV), Los Angeles (CA), Punta Gorda (FL), St. Petersburg (FL), and Daytona Beach (FL) from the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.
Have you flown on Allegiant? If so, what was your experience?