ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A newspaper investigation has found that Allegiant Air's planes are four times as likely to break down in flight as those operated by other major U.S. airlines.
The Tampa Bay Times report published Wednesday said Allegiant jets were forced to make unexpected landings at least 77 times in 2015 for serious mechanical failures.
None of the incidents prompted enforcement action from the Federal Aviation Administration, which doesn't compare airline breakdown records to look for warning signs.
Times reporters built a database of more than 65,000 records from the FAA.
The newspaper reports that during interviews at the company's Las Vegas headquarters, Allegiant acknowledged that its planes break down too often and said the company is changing the way it operates.
Allegiant serves several cities in Florida including Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
A @TB_Times Analysis found Allegiant Air planes are 4 times as likely as other airlines to fail during flight. https://t.co/UcNe106YoL pic.twitter.com/sRJVyGzGby
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) November 2, 2016
“We’re very much focused on running a better operation,” said Allegiant Air CEO Maurice Gallagher Jr. https://t.co/9QXZ60cNBt @TB_Times pic.twitter.com/ff3KWzd3pE
— Ron Brackett (@rontimes) November 2, 2016
#Allegiant Air changes course after @TB_Times investigation, admits too many planes failed https://t.co/twVc1vTzJl via @TB_Times pic.twitter.com/CYVVWXmDlf
— Chris Tisch (@christisch1) November 2, 2016