Allegiant flight from North Dakota to Las Vegas diverts to Utah airport over maintenance issue

An Allegiant Air flight from Bismarck, North Dakota, made an unscheduled stop about 120 miles short of its Las Vegas destination, diverting to an airport in southern Utah for what the airline described on Tuesday as a possible maintenance issue.

Crew members reported a faulty fuel gauge, an airport official at St. George Regional Airport said.

No emergency was declared, but the interrupted flight became the latest incident involving the low-cost carrier that caters to vacation travelers.

An Allegiant flight aborted takeoff three weeks ago when the nose lifted prematurely while the aircraft hurtled down a Las Vegas runway, and another Allegiant flight made an emergency landing July 23 at a closed airport in Fargo, North Dakota, after company executives piloting the aircraft reported they were nearly out of fuel.

Flight 487 landed safely in Monday at 7:12 p.m. MDT in St. George, a statement from the Las Vegas-based airline said. The MD-83 jet had 141 passengers and six crew members aboard.

Brad Kitchen, airport operations supervisor in St. George, said he arranged for about 35 passengers to take a shuttle bus to Las Vegas. Other passengers waited in the terminal for another aircraft to arrive to fly them the short 30-minute flight to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Kitchen said.

Allegiant said the flight arrived at 12:03 a.m., and baggage was being brought Tuesday to Las Vegas. Passengers were offered $100 vouchers for future travel, the airline said.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said he had no information about Monday's landing.

The FAA is investigating the aborted Aug. 17 takeoff at McCarran of an MD-83 bound for Peoria, Illinois. The aircraft returned safely to the gate, and no injuries were reported.

An initial probe found that a nut fell off a crucial component, causing a control surface to jam in the up position, the FAA said. That raised the nose as the aircraft accelerated down the runway.

In July, two Allegiant executives with pilot licenses were flying the Allegiant MD-80 jet that made the emergency landing at Hector International Airport in Fargo. The air field had been closed for an air show.

The airline said 144 passengers departed late from Las Vegas because a passenger had a medical emergency and had to be taken to a hospital.

The Las Vegas-based airline, a unit of Allegiant Travel Co., said it was cooperating with FAA investigators.