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98 mechanical problems found in Allegiant airplanes in 5 months

Posted at 4:56 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2018-04-16 19:52:03-04
New problems with maintenance and safety operations continue to plague Las Vegas-based Allegiant airlines and these are problems critics say could be prevented. 
Pilots and mechanics say Allegiant's approach to maintenance is dangerous and not up to industry standards. 
Delayed and aborted takeoffs, gate returns and diversions and passengers stranded for hours. After a number of mechanical problems with aircraft starting last summer, the union representing airplane mechanics started collecting reports form Allegiant's own pilots.  
It's something they say illustrates a major problem with passenger safety. 
The Aviation Mechanics Coalition, which is part of the Teamsters union, released its third report today covering a five-month period from September, 2015 through this January. 
They found  98 preventable maintenance problems. 35 were engine malfunctions. Two of those, one in December and one in January were "catastrophic engine failures," meaning the engines were falling apart. There were four instances of smoke in the cabin and three pressurization problems.  
Some flights were diverted and others had to return to the airport.  
The low fair, no frills airline is one of the most profitable in the country. Pilots and mechanics in the coalition say Allegiant should put more money back into its aircraft.  
They accuse the airline of cutting corners and putting profit over passenger and employee safety.
The coalition says it doesn't have information from other airlines because this is the first time pilots have come forward with serious concerns asking the union to look into an airline's maintenance history.
Allegiant has refused to answer my questions.  
Last October, they accused me of biased reporting and distorting facts on a story about a plane evacuated at McCarran aiprort after an engine fire.  
Since then, I've reached out to them four times.  
They continue to refuse saying, "we're not providing comment to you any more."