Allegiant Air Safety Called Into Question

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He also said the flight to Las Vegas has always been a huge success, noting it typically flies with 80-to-90 percent capacity.

"And there was smoke in the cabin and fire coming out of that engine", said Mercedes Weller, who was on board.

On Sunday night, CBS aired a "60 Minutes" segment on Allegiant Air that raised concerns about the low-priced airline's safety.

Sunday, CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a story on their seven-month investigation into Allegiant Air's safety records. "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.

For years, US -based Allegiant Air has been luring British Columbians south of the border with rock-bottom fares on flights between Bellingham, Wash. and destinations such as Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The report suggested that the problems are a result of the aging Boeing MD-80s that Allegiant plans to phase out by year's end, but which now comprise approximately 30% of its fleet.

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O'Neill says MD-80s haven't flown in and out of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway in more than a year after the airport underwent a full transition.

The story said federal aviation reports indicated the carrier was 3.5 times more likely to suffer an in-flight breakdown than various competitors.

On Monday, Sen. Bill Nelson sent a letter to the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation, saying the FAA's potential lack of oversight warrant scrutiny.

Allegiant's Vice President fired back this morning, calling the 60 Minutes report "irresponsible and misleading".

Allegiant is the only official airline that flies in and out of Rockford.

He says there have been a few delays where the captain wanted something double checked before departing, but no cancellations due to maintenance issues. "That to us is a red flag".

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The airline's statement said it expects employees to adhere to all company procedures and policies, including safety procedures, and denied the claims of critics in the report that there is pressure to put profitability over safety.

Abbotsford realtor Jonathan Gelderman said he has noticed a marked difference in Allegiant's on-time performance for flights out of the Bellingham International Airport since bringing newer planes on its routes from the airport. The agency said it did a comprehensive review of Allegiant in 2016, finding no systemic safety or regulatory problems. A friend, however, told Gelderman that Allegiant had upgraded its fleet and he should try it again.

"I think it is improving but it still has a ways to go", Cox said.

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.

However, Surrey resident Laura Church, in an interview, said she experienced an emergency landing during a July 2015 Allegiant flight from Vegas to Bellingham that terrified her. The airline offers two weekly flights from St. Cloud to Mesa, Arizona.

In the first quarter, Las Vegas-based Allegiant had 3,279,368 scheduled passengers, up from 2,845,480 in the first quarter of previous year.

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