Local travelers react to report of Allegiant Air's safety issues
AVOCA, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF-TV) —
A low-cost airline is facing backlash after a 60 Minutes investigation raised serious concerns about its in-air safety.
Allegiant Air flew out of our area until just this year.
A 60 Minutes investigation is raising serious concerns about Allegiant Air's safety.
Between January 1 2016 and October 2017, the report says the budget airline experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents.
That includes rapid descents, aborted takeoffs, flight control malfunctions and midair engine failures.
The airline flew out of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International from 2012 until January.
Outside the airport Monday afternoon, travelers had mixed reactions to the report.
"It takes a lot to really get an airplane in trouble; either catastrophic failure or just negligence. If folks are coming to work and they're doing their jobs and they're doing the maintenance, it's pretty tough to down an airplane,” Richard Hansen, of Dupont, Luzerne County, said.
"Whenever you see lots of older aircrafts, that send a warning signal. Because those aircrafts, even those they may be legally safe according to the FAA, that doesn't mean they're going to have maintenance issues,” John Ilowiecki, of South Abington, said.
According to the report, Allegiant is also believed to be, on average, nearly three and a half times more likely to have a mid-air breakdown than other major airlines.
But Captain Eric Gust, who's the airline's vice president of operations says the 60 Minutes report aired a "false narrative about Allegiant and the FAA."
He added, "to suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory."
"I do really trust the airlines to do what they're supposed to do when it comes to maintenance. I know they're busy, and I know they're in business to make money. But you got to stay on top of maintenance. It's critical,” Hansen added.
Allegiant's stocks have since nosedived.
While the airline no longer flies out of Avoca, it still operates out of Allentown, Harrisburg, and Newark.