Airline that flies into Sarasota-Bradenton and Punta Gorda was subject of critical "60 Minutes" segment.

LAS VEGAS — Shares in Allegiant Air stabilized on Wednesday, after plummeting late last week on a report from "60 Minutes" that raised serious safety questions about the low-cost carrier.

Shares in the Las Vegas carrier were selling for $145.75 in morning trading, down about 70 cents, or a half-percentage point on the Nasdaq.

The shares had dropped 8.6 percent on Friday in anticipation of the story that was aired Sunday.

Allegiant saw its first flight arrive last week at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The airline began year-round nonstop service to Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh at the local airport. The airport now has seven carriers and 15 nonstop destinations. The addition of Allegiant is a notable boost to its service to the Midwest. With introductory one-way tickets starting at $83, it has become the first truly low-cost option from Sarasota-Bradenton.

The airline is the sole carrier serving Punta Gorda Airport.

Allegiant officials have claimed that the report by CBS News' "60 Minutes" tells a "false narrative" about the airline. Investors, however, have clearly worried that the negative publicity will cause travelers to avoid Allegiant, which has a fleet including many older planes that typically require more maintenance.

"60 Minutes" reported that from January 2016 to October, the airline experienced more than 100 serious mechanical incidents, including aborted takeoffs, loss of cabin pressure and emergency landings.

CBS said that detailed reports from the Federal Aviation Administration indicated that Allegiant flights were three-and-a-half times more likely to suffer an in-flight breakdown than flights operated by American, United, Delta, JetBlue or Spirit. The report also aired a long-running accusation by the Teamsters union local representing Allegiant pilots that the airline discourages pilots from reporting mechanical problems with planes.

Allegiant buys used planes to keep costs down. As of Feb. 2, Allegiant operated 37 McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 planes and 53 Airbus A320 jets. It is phasing out the MD-80s, which burn far more fuel and require more maintenance than new planes. Allegiant's used planes range between 11 and 32 years old, according to a company regulatory filing.

The FAA on Monday released a letter in which associate administrator of safety Ali Bahrami defended the agency's performance by pointing to the lack of a fatal crash involving a U.S. airline since 2009.

The FAA increased its monitoring of Allegiant in 2015 because of labor tension with its pilots. In 2016, the agency moved up a routine review of the airline by two years after a series of aborted takeoffs and other safety incidents. FAA officials took no enforcement action against Allegiant and said they were satisfied that the airline was addressing problems found by inspectors.

Allegiant executives termed the FAA's 2016 findings "minor" and hailed the report as evidence of the airline's safety.

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