Allegiant Air is under fire after a national report called in to question the budget airline's safety record.
KGUN 9 learned that the Arizona Men's Basketball team has used Allegiant as its charter service for the past several years.
We reached out to Allegiant and they say the allegations against them are not true.
60 Minutes on CBS reported that the airline had more than 100 serious mechanical incidents over the last couple of years.
Allegiant said, "CBS produced a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and ignoring publicly available facts."
Full statement from Allegiant:
It is unfortunate and disappointing that CBS 60 Minutes has chosen to air a false narrative about Allegiant and the FAA. Not only do we expect our team members to adhere to all company procedures and policies—including safety procedures—but many positions are subject to statutory and regulatory obligations. The violation of those obligations would trigger not only punitive action from Allegiant, but could also result in enforcement action from regulatory agencies, loss of a certification, and even criminal charges. To suggest that Allegiant would engage in the practice of asking team members to violate company and regulatory obligations is offensive and defamatory.
CBS produced a one-sided narrative by cherry-picking interviews and ignoring publicly-available facts. For example, the show’s star interviewee, John Goglia, is not an un-biased commentator; he is a paid expert working for a former Allegiant pilot who has sued Allegiant. That pilot, Jason Kinzer, claims that he was wrongfully terminated after an evacuation. In fact, Kinzer was terminated because he unnecessarily evacuated a plane “at great risk to the crew and passengers” even though there “was no smoke, fire, or an aircraft malfunction,” and, during a post-flight investigation, he refused to “acknowledge his mistakes” or “demonstrate that he was capable of learning and growing from the event going forward.” (See Defendants’ Revised Motion for Summary Judgment, Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County, NV, Case No. A-15-727524-C.) Surprisingly, the 60 Minutes presentation of Mr. Kinzer’s case omits this publicly-available side of the story.
The FAA exercises rigorous oversight of Allegiant, as they do all airlines operating in the United States. Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs to ensure we operate to the highest standards. Additionally, we expect our team members to follow all company policies and practice strict adherence to FAA regulations and guidelines. Several anonymous, non-disciplinary reporting systems are available through Allegiant as well as through the FAA for team members to report safety concerns. Notably, none of the concerns allegedly expressed by Allegiant team members during the 60 Minutes episode were found to have been reported through any of these appropriate channels.
Allegiant’s team members safely operate thousands of flights each week, which will transport more than 14 million passengers this year. We have safely carried nearly 90 million passengers since beginning operations in 2001. Our workforce is made up of more than 4,000 dedicated and hard-working people who wake up every day thinking about how to move our customers safely from one place to another.
Meanwhile, the University of Arizona said while they have used Allegiant in the past, they currently do not have any group travel with the airline.
A UA spokesperson said safety is most important as they select charter aircraft in the future.
Full statement from the University of Arizona:
"We have used Allegiant in the past. We currently don’t have any group travel scheduled with Allegiant. The safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance and we will be conducting our due diligence as we select charter aircraft for upcoming travel."