Concord responds to CBS News' '60 Minutes' report on Allegiant Air safety

CONCORD, NC (WBTV/AP) - The city of Concord responded to a recent report from CBS' 60 Minutes that alleges Allegiant Airline may be dangerous. The airline currently has flights in and out of Concord-Padgett Regional Airport in Concord.

Allegiant Air is a small, low-cost carrier based in Las Vegas, NV. "But, according to federal aviation records and interviews with pilots, mechanics and industry experts, it may also be the most dangerous," CBS News' 60 Minutes reports.

"We are aware of Sunday's 60 Minutes report involving Allegiant Air and its safety record," Concord City Manager Lloyd Payne said in a statement. "The City of Concord is not in a position to speak to the safety practices and operations of Allegiant or other carriers, other than all airlines must meet FAA requirements."

Word regarding flight issues didn't take long to reach Allegiant passengers. Travelers returning to Concord from Fort Lauderdale say concerns over safety were top of mind.

Barbara Graham took Allegiant back to North Carolina after a trip to Europe and says she hasn't experienced any problems.

"Everything has been smooth sailing for me. So hopefully that will stay that way for some time, but I'm glad some things were brought to the public's attention," Graham said.

According to Concord Airport's website, Allegiant currently offers scheduled service to the following destinations:

  • Orlando Sanford International Airport four days a week
  • St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (Tampa / St. Pete Florida area) three days a week
  • Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (South Florida area) four days a week
  • Punta Gorda Airport (SW Florida, Ft. Myers & Naples areas)  twice a week
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport twice a week

Payne says in relation to operating the airline at Concord-Padgett Regional Airport, the city must meet FAA and TSA requirements for security and safety, and that it works closely with Allegiant to plan and prepare for potential responses to emergency situations.

Allegiant defended its safety and says the report by CBS News' "60 Minutes" tells a "false narrative" about the airline. Investors, however, fear that the negative publicity will cause travelers to avoid Allegiant, which has a fleet including many older planes that typically require more maintenance.

"Public documents show an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure loss, emergency descents, and unscheduled landings. Yet for the most part, allegiant's difficulties have managed to stay under the radar of the flying public," CBS News' "60 Minutes" reported Sunday.

Allegiant buys used planes to keep costs down.

"60 Minutes" reported that between January 2016 and October 2017, the Las Vegas-based airline experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including aborted takeoffs, loss of cabin pressure, and emergency landings.

Shares of parent company Allegiant Travel Co. fell $3.45, or 2.3 percent, to $147.60 in midday trading Monday. They dropped 8.6 percent on Friday in anticipation of a damaging news report.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this article. All rights reserved.