Allegiant Air under fire after '60 Minutes' investigation raises safety concerns


It says Allegiant had more than 40 in-flight emergencies or unscheduled landings in 2016, and is nearly four times more likely to experience a mid-flight breakdown than Delta, United or American airlines.

"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 a statement to customers.

Ratliff also said he trust the FAA to put safety first by making sure an airline is doing everything right, and that Allegiant is under pressure from this report to be doing everything right now.

One Wall Street analyst expects the report will impact the airline's financial results this year.

CBS' latest episode of "60 Minutes" featured details of a seven-month-long investigation of the Las Vegas-based low-budget carrier, including an "alarming number" of issues between January 1, 2016, and October 31, 2017.

"What we found raised some disturbing questions about the performance of their fleet", the "60 Minutes" reporter said on air.

The "60 Minutes" report followed a 2016 article from the Tampa Bay Times, which said Allegiant's aircraft are four times more likely to fail during flight than those operated by other U.S. Airlines. The company offers scheduled air transportation on limited frequency nonstop flights between under-served cities and leisure destinations. "This one-sided presentation falls far short of the responsible journalistic standards expected from reputable outlets, including '60 Minutes, '" Gust said. "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate at the highest possible standard".

The page-long statement went on to say in part, "Allegiant's team members safely operate thousands of flights each week, which will transport more than 14 million passengers this year. We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001".

ValuEngine lowered shares of Allegiant Air from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, April 9th.

"We have reason to believe this story was instigated by a terminated employee", Allegiant wrote in a letter to employees.

Allegiant's stock has taken a blow since the segment aired on Sunday.

The CBS story is just the latest examination of the carrier in recent years that has found significantly higher safety problems aboard Allegiant flights as compared to its rivals.

Bohnsack, who did not see the report himself, added that the low-fare carrier also helps provide competition to the other airlines.

"We're extremely pleased with the Allegiant service, and the travelling public through MidAmerica is also", Cantwell said.