Commercial airline pilots flying for Allegiant Air (of which there are more than 500) were recently so “uncomfortable remaining silent about company practices that negatively impact…safety” that they were moved to pen a letter to passengers.
In a letter, the pilots call Allegiant Air “the most profitable airline in the industry” with “48 consecutive profitable quarters” and accuse company executives of “driving a race to the bottom in service [and] safety standards.
“The fleet is plagued by persistent mechanical problems due to poor equipment and the company’s unwillingness to invest in its operation or its workforce, as attested by the numerous FAA safety investigations, aircraft groundings, and training program closures,” the pilots flying for Allegiant Air describe. Despite taking home “tens of millions of dollars in dividends in the past few years,” the company’s CEO has “refused to reinvest returns into our infrastructure [or] operation” and the airline has adopted a “minimalist approach to maintenance and safety.”
“With Allegiant making millions in profits each year, our customers should not be put at risk by a company that is content to just barely meet safety standards – a mindset that results in the delays and cancellations you experience when you fly with us,” the pilots explain. They close the letter to passengers by calling for investments in the company’s infrastructure, fleet, pilots, and mechanics and pledge to “continue to speak out to protect travelers and our pilots from being taken advantage of by a company consumed with a dangerous approach to its safety standards, customer protection, and employees.”
What the letter doesn’t include are specifics. For this reason and the timing of the letter, Allegiant Air officials have dismissed the pilots’ claims, calling the letter a “scare tactic” and attempt to benefit from contract negotiations for higher pay.