In response to the investigation, Allegiant issued a statement on Sunday night, in which they called the report "grossly misleading" and noted that the story was instigated by a "terminated employee now involved in a lawsuit seeking money damages from the company". "Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards".
"Allegiant Air has experienced issues in the past, like any growing airline, but has worked to correct them".
Some of the biggest issues that impacted the budget carrier and its passengers included aborted take-offs, flight control malfunctions, mid-air engine failures, rapid descents, smoke in the cabin and more.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Allegiant Air's parent company, Allegiant Travel Co., saw stock prices fall 8 percent on Friday when previews of the "60 Minutes" piece began airing.
Almost 173,000 passengers in New Orleans boarded or arrived on Allegiant flights in 2017, according to statistics tracked by Louis Armstrong International Airport.
"This unoriginal and outdated story bears no resemblance to Allegiant's operations today, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of FAA compliance practice and history", Allegiant vice president of operations Eric Gust wrote in a statement. It focused primarily on events of several years past, prior to the FAA's most recent comprehensive audit of Allegiant Air, which revealed no systemic or regulatory deficiencies.
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Jay Ratliff says that about two to three years ago, Allegiant made headlines for operational maintenance issues, but since then, the company has worked with the FAA to improve.
In that time period, "60 Minutes" counted dozens of in-flight mishaps and in-flight emergencies on Allegiant's planes.
"Captain Eric Gust is Allegiant's vice president of operations, responsible for the airline's flight operations, safety and security teams". We have safely carried almost 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001. "To be clear, any employee who fails to report safety-related concerns through available channels is in violation of company policies, and may also be in violation of federal regulations".
Sunday's "60 Minutes" report detailed more than 100 of what it described as serious mechanical incidents between the start of 2016 and October 2017.
FAA associate administrator of safety Ali Bahrami defended the agency's performance by pointing to the lack of a fatal crash involving a US airline since 2009, and said FAA regulation "has been very successful" in pushing airlines "to the highest level of safety".
"Yet for the most part, allegiant's difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public". The FAA later overruled Allegiant's objections and produced the documents.