Allegiant to add seasonal Tulsa flights from New Orleans airport _lowres

Advocate file photo by Richard Alan Hannon -- Budget carrier Allegiant plans to add seasonal nonstop service to Tulsa, Oklahoma, from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Allegiant Air, a domestic carrier operating flights to and from New Orleans, is the subject of a scathing "60 Minutes" investigation citing aviation records and interviews showing an "alarming number" of issues that points to the low-cost carrier as being one of the country's "most dangerous" airlines.

One segment of the nearly 30-minute piece says that from Jan. 1, 2016 to October 31, 2017, Allegiant self-reported more than 100 "serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted takeoffs."

Allegiant's total of 60 unscheduled landings and 46 in-flight emergencies is "very, very high for an airline of this size," said John Goglia, who who served nine years as a presidential appointee to the National Transportation Safety Board.

"I hate to make comparisons -- but we've seen that before in airlines that are no longer with us that had experienced a number of accidents and killed a bunch of people," Goglia added.

Asked if he'd fly Allegiant, Goglia said he's encouraged "my family, my friends and myself not to fly on Allegiant."

Allegiant issued a statement Sunday night calling the report "misleading" and saying safety is "at the core" of the company's operation.

In 2017, Allegiant enplaned 86,470 passengers at Louis Armstrong International Airport, making up 1.4 percent of the airport's passenger total. Its statistics for deplaned passengers are nearly identical. Along with Alaska Airlines/Virgin America and Frontier Airlines, Allegiant is one of the three smallest airlines -- by passenger volume -- that serves New Orleans.

The airline provides service to Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio; Charlotte; Indianapolis; Orlando; Pittsburgh; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; and and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Click here to read the full "60 Minutes" report, including how the Federal Aviation Administration has responded to Allegiant's reported issues.