Allegiant safety in question

A U.S. airline popular with British Columbians for discount flights from Bellingham, Wash., is facing allegations over its safety record.

CBS's 60 Minutes discovered internal reports listing more than 100 serious mechanical issues between January 2016 and October 2017.

"I've encouraged my family, my friends and myself not to fly on Allegiant," former National Transportation Safety Board presidential appointee John Goglia told the TV show.

Federal reports indicate the airline was 3.5 times more likely to suffer an in-flight breakdown than other carriers.

In a statement, Allegiant vice-president Eric Gust called the 60 Minutes piece "one-sided" and a "false narrative."

"To suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory," he said.

CBS cherry-picked interviews and ignored publicly-available facts, he claimed.

Allegiant pilot Steven Allen also issued a statement, saying: "It is offensive to me and the hundreds of men and women I fly with every day to assume that we would ever knowingly operate unsafe aircraft."

The FAA responded, saying it "has conducted ongoing evaluations of Allegiant's safety compliance, as it does with all carriers, and has not identified any significant or systemic problems with the carrier's current operation.

"Had we identified such problems, the FAA would have taken immediate action."

– with files from CTV Vancouver


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