After '60 Minutes' report, MidAmerica director says Allegiant is safe to fly

60 Minutes Preview: Is Allegiant Airlines Safe to Fly?

A new report by "60 Minutes" says Allegiant Air may well be the "most dangerous" carrier in the country, with a concerning track record of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency landings and other problems often obscured by its ultra-low fares.

Booth said the low-priced carrier uses a fleet of older planes, which are bought from overseas, and crew members don't always seem to have passenger safety as their first priority.

A discount airline popular among Metro Vancouver travellers has come under fire after an American television program raised alarming questions about its safety record over the weekend.

"Despite Allegiant's high number of significant and repeated mechanical incidents, the investigation alleged the Federal Aviation Administration has not brought a single enforcement action against the company in three years", Markey and Blumenthal wrote. They have not been built since 1999, almost 20 years ago.

Allegiant's record of breakdowns appears related partly to the age of its fleet, particularly its MD-80 planes, which are almost 28 years old on average and require more maintenance than newer planes.

As airlines go, Allegiant is not a big player in Pittsburgh. At the start of 2017 it had 47 MD-80 planes, 34 Airbus planes and four older model Boeing jets.

But you won't see MD-80s at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway.

Some Allegiant passengers we talked to say they have encountered several delays related to mechanical issues.

According to its website, Allegiant Air has nearly 130 flights to and from destinations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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"They just diagnosed her with Alzheimers so we wanted to spend some time with her while she could still know who we are", Wagner said.

"By end of the year their fleet age will be much more in line with the rest of the industry", said Joseph DeNardi, an analyst with Stifel who has a buy recommendation on the stock.

But an investigation by CBS's "60 Minutes", alleges fliers might be paying in safety for what they're saving in costs.

In response to the CBS report, U.S. lawmakers demanded information on how such system failures had persisted for so long.

Neither DeNardi and Syth have ever flown the airline, though both said they would have no reservations doing so.

There are 17 airlines that fly out of Pittsburgh International.

In a statement, Las Vegas-based Allegiant dismissed the claims in the 60 Minutes segment as a "false narrative", and called suggestions of intentional regulatory violations "offensive and defamatory".

"One of the best ways to get attention for your cause as an airline pilot, is to talk about issues that might threaten safety and how the pilots are the only ones that are there protect you and how they need to be compensated as professionals", said Weinkrantz.

The employee was not identified, but CBS reports it may be Captain Jason Kinzer, who was sacked in 2015 six weeks after he turned a plane around due to smoke in the cabin.

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