Allegiant Airlines Grounds MD-80 Jets For Inspections

September 20, 2013

Arizona passengers scheduled to fly on Allegiant Airlines could experience flight delays or cancellations through the weekend. Allegiant has grounded most of its jets to inspect emergency exit slides.Allegiant stopped flying all 52 of its MD-80 airplanes after passengers were forced to evacuate a jet at the Las Vegas airport on Monday. The slides worked well during the evacuation but the manufacturer found out that Allegiant had only inspected the slides once every three years instead of annually as required. 

Allegiant spokesman Brian Davis says many of the jets will be out of service while the slides are checked for problems. 

“What they are working to do is to put four compliant slides together on as many aircraft as we currently have available, and all slides out of compliance are being sent off to a certified operator to bring them into compliance…but that is a days-long process,” Davis said.

Davis says so far there have been no major problems with flights in Arizona, but other western states have experienced cancellations and delays. He says the airline expects to get back on schedule on Saturday, but Sunday and Monday are typically busy flight days. He anticipates more cancellations and delays at that time.

He said Allegiant has 15 MD-80s back in the air today.  Davis said it could be a few weeks before all of the jets are back in service. 

Anyone who has tickets to fly Allegiant this weekend should check the airline’s website for regular updates. 

Updated 9/20/2013 4:18 p.m.