Allegiant Air had over 100 'serious mechanical incidents' in 2 years

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News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke has been investigating Allegiant's safety record since it came to Rochester.

The answer is of utmost importance to the thousands of travelers who use the airline each year, which serves more than 100 destinations, including Santa Maria.

A memo to employees from Allegiant CEO Maurice Gallagher said they were ready to "fight back" against CBS, arguing the 60 Minutes' story was based on outdated statistics.

The Associated Press reported that investigators with the news program found that between January 1, 2016, and October 2017, the Las Vegas-based airline experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including aborted takeoffs, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions and midair engine failures.

Allegiant Air has flown to the Santa Maria Public Airport for more than 10 years, operating a popular flight to Las Vegas three times a week.

Data from federal regulators showed that Allegiant was on average almost 3.5 times more likely to have a mid-air breakdown than other major airlines.

Canadian global affairs analyst and former aviation journalist Michael Bociurkiw said it's "absolutely shocking" that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration hasn't taken action against Allegiant, given the number of mechanical problems the airline's fleet has allegedly experienced.

O'Neill says he has confidence in Allegiant Air.

Responding to growing pressure on its regulation of Allegiant, the FAA said it was "committed to pursuing the highest level of aviation safety".

He points to airline changing the culture and their business model if they have any chance of surviving.

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"We see them as a good partner with the airport and we look forward to working with them well into the future", said Hastert.

"Saving a few dollars is not worth your life".

Allegiant Air, the small ultra-low-cost airline being considered for servicing the Cheyenne airport, had its safety record exposed on the April 15 episode of CBS' "60 Minutes". "CBS produced a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and ignoring publicly-available facts".

Gust, in his statement, said Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements, and that any suggestion that the airline muzzled employees "is offensive and defamatory".

Since the 1990s, the FAA has stressed voluntary reporting of potential safety issues before taking punitive enforcement actions.

Annetta Ribken, a writer from Moscow Mills, Missouri, flew with Allegiant last July from MidAmerica to Las Vegas.

"They can't because they know that they would be terminated".

The company also sent 8 On Your Side a lengthy statement insisting their planes are safe and called the 60 minutes report inaccurate.

"All we can do is we can encourage Allegiant to do what's right", he said, adding he thinks it will overcome the controversy.

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

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