Allegiant Air is refusing to take the criticism.
Since the prime-time news program “60 Minutes” reported on the airline’s safety and maintenance record, the airline has fought back.
Allegiant Air is a small, ultra-low-cost carrier based in Las Vegas, that happens to be one of the country’s most profitable airlines. But, according to federal aviation records and interviews with pilots, mechanics and industry experts, it may also be the most dangerous.
The airline flew 12 million passengers last year on its 99 planes to 120 destinations from California to Florida. But it’s had persistent problems since at least the summer of 2015 when it experienced a rash of mid-air breakdowns, including five on a single day. It was not a fluke.
Public documents show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency descents, and unscheduled landings. Yet for the most part, Allegiant’s difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public.
When “60 Minutes” reached out to the airline before running its story, Allegiant offered a general statement touting its adherence to FAA regulations.