Allegiant Air goes on defensive after explosive "60 Minutes" report

Morgan Stanley Trims Allegiant Air (ALGT) Target Price to $169.00

In fact, Lowe, a certified travel counselor, helped a client book a flight Monday on Allegiant to Florida next fall.

"60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft said in an "Overtime" segment that "60 Minutes" got "no cooperation" from either Allegiant or the FAA in the beginning of reporting the story.

More than a year's worth of Federal Aviation Administration reports for Allegiant and seven other airlines show that the carrier was on average almost three and a half times more likely to have a midair breakdown than Delta, United, American, Spirit, or JetBlue.

Fighting back sobs, a woman told 60 Minutes in a show that aired Sunday that she was anxious she would never see her daughter again.

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.

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

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"The story features cherry-picked interviews with people involved in the lawsuit, including featured comments from John Goglia, a paid plaintiff's witness presented by CBS as an unbiased industry expert".

The FAA exercises rigorous oversight of Allegiant, as they do all airlines operating in the United States. Gust also said Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs. "We are disappointed yet again by another feeble attempt to damage the reputation of our hard-working team members and that of our company". 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.

The net worth of Allegiant Travel Company CEO Maurice Gallagher Jr. has also taken a $52 million dip since Friday.

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. Allegiant also canceled or rescheduled 11 separate flights leaving Las Vegas, its headquarters, during that month.

In response to inquiries, the FAA provided a copy of a letter it sent to "60 Minutes" producers Michael Karzis and Vanessa Fica on April 11. The Times examined the Las Vegas-based budget airline's safety record for 2015, finding that Allegiant made emergency landings at four times the rate of other USA airlines. We will continue to work with Allegiant and our regulatory partners in providing safe travel experiences for our passengers.

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