Allegiant Fights Back Against 60 Minutes Segment

Local travel agent backs Allegiant Airlines

A request for comment from Allegiant Air was not immediately returned. Those incidents included mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs.

This weekend, CBS' 60 Minutes picked up the story and put the bargain basement airline back in the spotlight. The government agency reacted strongly to the 60 Minutes story.

Hastert added that the airport has no problem with the airline's service to Santa Maria and is confident in its operation.

Allegiant service means $1 million a year to the local airport, because it carries more than 10,000 passengers a year on the Florida route. There have been fewer incidents, which Weinkrantz attributes to Allegiant replacing much its aging and less reliable MD-80 fleet with new Airbus jets. It is offensive to me and the hundreds of hardworking men and women I fly with every day to assume that we would ever knowingly operate unsafe aircraft. They also claim the story gained traction due to a disgruntled employee now locked in a lawsuit battle with the airline.

It's not the first time Allegiant has come under fire.

Ron Summers had a flight from Moline to Phoenix scheduled for later this year. Kroft himself said in the "Overtime" segment that he is "flabbergasted" that not more people know about Allegiant's safety record.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Allegiant Air's parent company, Allegiant Travel Co., saw stock prices fall 8 percent on Friday when previews of the "60 Minutes" piece began airing. He is said to be indulged in "lawsuit seeking money damage against the company".

The FAA is recognized around the world as the gold standard with regard to transportation safety, and as a result, the airline industry in the USA has never been safer.

The FAA exercises rigorous oversight of Allegiant, as they do all airlines operating in the United States.

"Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programmes to ensure we operate to the highest standards". Additionally, we expect our team members to follow all company policies and practice strict adherence to FAA regulations and guidelines.

"If you look at the FAA letter that was out, no major issues and I think if you were to review the safety records of any airline, there's always going to be something that comes up and some change that needs to be made in the system", Hastert said.

Officials at the Ogdensburg airport are aware of the 60 Minutes report, but they are saying it doesn't apply here.

JetBlue, in comparison, flew 117,894 passengers to two destinations in Florida. That expansion, airport officials say, is to handle the more than 2.6 million passengers, a almost three-fold increase from 901,862 passengers in 2012, at the fast-growing air facility. "You can bring in as many new aircraft as you like, but if they aren't maintained and if the pilots are not given the power to make split-second decisions when there's a safety problem, that's a big, big reason to avoid the airline", he said.

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