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Allegiant Travel : FAA begins early inspection of Allegiant Air operations

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04/29/2016 | 01:52am CEST

value="LU/us.tx.dallas" idsrc="xmltag.org">DALLAS (AP) Federal safety officials are reviewing operations at Allegiant Air two years ahead of schedule, spurred by incidents including an aborted takeoff and a plane that landed low on fuel.

The value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">Federal Aviation Administration routinely evaluates airlines every five years but moved up Allegiant's review from 2018.

An value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA spokesman said Thursday that the agency is making sure that work Allegiant is doing "to address various internal issues has resulted in the desired improvements."

The review began in early April and is expected to run through June.

Allegiant did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

The value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA sometimes moves up airline inspections because of management changes, labor disputes or other factors. The value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA said the decision to speed the Allegiant review was based partly on two incidents last year.

In one, a mechanical failure was blamed for causing the nose of the plane to rise too soon during takeoff. Pilots aborted the takeoff on the runway in value="LU/us.nv.lasveg" idsrc="xmltag.org">Las Vegas.

In the other, a plane flown by two Allegiant executives with airline-pilot licenses ran low on fuel and made an emergency landing at a closed airport in value="LU/us.nd.fargo" idsrc="xmltag.org">Fargo, North Dakota. The value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA closed the case after Allegiant took steps to improve training and procedures.

The airline has suffered other high-profile breakdowns and emergency landings, including an engine fire that caused pilots to abort another value="LU/us.nv.lasveg" idsrc="xmltag.org">Las Vegas flight.

The president of the union representing Allegiant's pilots said the early value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA review underscores the airline's problems with maintenance.

"It's clear that Allegiant's bare-minimum approach to its operation isn't working," said Dan Wells, president of Teamsters Local 1224.

The value="ACORN:0473367091" idsrc="xmltag.org">FAA decision to move up the Allegiant review was previously reported by the value="ACORN:2355894321" idsrc="xmltag.org">Tampa Bay Times.

Allegiant Air is a unit of value="LU/us.nv.lasveg" idsrc="xmltag.org">Las Vegas-based value="NASDAQ-NMS:ALGT" idsrc="xmltag.org">Allegiant Travel Co.

Follow David Koenig at http://twitter.com/airlinewriter

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed., source Associated Press News

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