Allegiant to ground half its fleet, citing need for inspections


Allegiant Travel Co , a low-cost carrier that provides service to leisure destinations, on Friday said it would ground as many as 30 of its planes, or roughly half of its fleet, to inspect slides over the next few days.

In a statement, the company said it found a "compliance issue" that will necessitate prompt inspections of slides in its MD-80 aircraft. It added that the move would lead to delays and cancellations, and said the process was expected to be completed by the end of this month.

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Allegiant operates 57 MD-80 aircraft, six Boeing 757-200 aircraft, and one Airbus A319. The MD-80 was made by McDonnell Douglas, which Boeing Co acquired in 1997.

"We apologize for the disruption to our passengers and ask that they please remain patient as we work to correct the issue, reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers impacted," said Andrew Levy, president of Allegiant Travel, said in a statement.

The company did not immediately return a call for additional comment.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)