* About half of fleet to get evacuation slide inspections
* Shares down about 5 percent
Sept 20 Allegiant Travel Co, a low-cost
carrier that provides service to leisure destinations, is
grounding as many as 30 of its aircraft, or roughly half of its
fleet, to inspect emergency evacuation slides in response to an
FAA request for information.
The company's shares fell about 5 percent.
In a statement on Friday, Allegiant cited a "compliance
issue" that will necessitate prompt inspections of the
evacuation slides in its MD-80 aircraft. It added that the move
would lead to delays and cancellations, and said the process was
expected to be completed by the end of this month.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday it
directed Allegiant to report on the status of the slides on its
MD-80s after it investigated an emergency evacuation of
Allegiant Flight 436 at McCarran International Airport in Las
Vegas on Monday.
"The FAA this week became aware that Allegiant Air may not
have inspected some emergency evacuation slides on its MD-80
fleet at required intervals," Ian Gregor, public affairs manager
with the FAA Pacific Division, said in a statement.
The Monday flight evacuation took place after smoke was seen
coming from an Allegiant plane, according to local media
reports. The FAA statement said all passengers on board that
Allegiant flight were safety evacuated.
"We directed them to report on the slides' inspection
status," Gregor added in an email. "Allegiant will do the
inspections now that they're aware of the issue."
Las Vegas-based Allegiant, which offers flights to leisure
destinations such as Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in Florida and
cities in Hawaii, operates 57 MD-80 aircraft, six Boeing 757-200
aircraft, and one Airbus A319. The MD-80 was made by
McDonnell Douglas, which Boeing Co acquired in 1997.
"We apologize for the disruption to our passengers and ask
that they please remain patient as we work to correct the issue,
reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers
impacted," said Andrew Levy, president of Allegiant Travel, said
in a statement.
Allegiant shares closed down $5.08 at $97.91 on the Nasdaq.