Allegiant Air shares nosedive on '60 Minutes' report on safety concerns

Allegiant Air shares nosedive on '60 Minutes' report on safety concerns

"This story follows an unoriginal narrative based entirely off of outdated statistics, incidents that are years-old, and so-called industry experts' - many of whom have not seen the inside of an airline's operations in decades".

The "60 Minutes" story is not about old incidents: Between Jan. 1, 2016 and the end of October 2017, "60 Minutes" found more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs.

"Captain Eric Gust is Allegiant's vice president of operations, responsible for the airline's flight operations, safety and security teams". He said the airline complies with all FAA requirements, and that any suggestion the airline muzzled employees "is offensive and defamatory".

Sunday night's negative "60 Minutes" segment about Allegiant Air, which flies out of Syracuse's Hancock Airport, rang a bell for me. One case involved a former pilot who was sacked after making an emergency landing after smoke filled the cabin.

"It would not be one of my top choice airlines", he said.

In his statement, Gust said Allegiant is a leader in reliability and has the second-lowest cancellation rate among all US airlines.

Allegiant Travel Co. fell 3 percent to $146.50 at 10:43 a.m.in NY.

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Airlines are frequently the subject of bad publicity, often around poor customer service.

"We're satisfied that ...we are taking the appropriate actions with regard to Allegiant and every other carrier that we work with to make sure that those problems have been appropriately dealt with", John Duncan, the FAA's executive director of flight standards, told "60 Minutes". Would it affect your decision to fly on Allegiant? "We'd be surprised if there isn't an impact to bookings in the nearish term". Most consumers compare prices when shopping for an airline ticket, and Allegiant has some of the cheapest fares around.

Allegiant buys used planes to keep costs down.

The Nevada-based low-priced carrier boasts a fleet of around 100 mostly second-hand Airbus A320-family and McDonnell-Douglas MD80 series jets. The average age of its fleet was 18.5 years, but when the MD-80s are retired it will be in line with other US airline fleets, which range from 5.1 years at Spirit Airlines to 16.7 years at Delta. Four analysts have provided estimates for Allegiant Air's earnings.

"In July 2016, the Allegiant pilots ratified their first union contract with the company". FAA officials took no enforcement action against Allegiant and said they were satisfied that the airline was addressing problems found by inspectors.

60 Minutes also pointed a finger at the Federal Aviation Administration, which over the last three years has switched its priorities from actively enforcing safety rules with fines, warning letters and sanctions-which become part of the public record-to working quietly with the airlines behind the scenes to fix the problems. Finally, Imperial Capital increased their price objective on shares of Allegiant Air from $132.00 to $150.00 and gave the company an "in-line" rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th.

The carrier also came under scrutiny in 2015 after a mechanical failure caused the nose of an MD-83 to rise off the ground too soon during takeoff, despite the crew's attempts to push it down.

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