Allegiant grounds 30 planes for inspections

Sept. 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Regional U.S. airline Allegiant said it was pulling 30 MD-80 aircraft out of service to inspect slides used to exit the aircraft during an emergency.

The announcement came four days after 144 passengers and six crew members used the emergency exit slides to escape a smoking plane on the runway at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Time reported Friday.

Allegiant issued a statement that did not mention the incident, but said it had pulled more than half of its fleet out of service due to a "compliance issue that will require re-inspection of many slides," in its fleet.

The airline said it would "delay, reschedule or cancel a number of flights over the next several days," and that it expected the complete the re-inspections by the end of September.

Andrew Levy, president of parent company Allegiant Travel, said the airline "is committed, above all else, to the safety of our passengers and crew, and we are dedicated to working around-the-clock to ensure that all of our fleet meets the highest standards."

Levy apologized for the delays, "as we work to correct the issue, reschedule affected flights and accommodate any passengers impacted."

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