A new "60 Minutes" report aired Sunday on CBS has exposed a poor safety record for an airline that flies out of Niagara Falls International Airport.
Allegiant Air, which runs weekly flights to three Florida cities from the Falls, has just 99 planes, but "60 Minutes" found it was:
- 3.5 times more likely to have a serious in-flight mechanical failure than other U.S. airlines.
- Dozens of “serious incidents” during that 22-month period include engines blowing out after takeoff and cabins filling with smoke.
Meanwhile pilots say they have been encouraged not to report problems with the planes so the company can keep them in the sky longer.
Two years ago, 7 Eyewitness News spoke with Allegiant passengers who were upset after their flight to Niagara Falls was diverted to Syracuse. With no help from the airline, they were left on their own to get back home.
Allegiant officials in a statement today blasted the story as "outdated and misleading," but did not dispute the accuracy of the report.
We are reaching out to officials at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Agency -- which runs the Niagara Falls airport -- to see whether they are concerned about the findings.