Allegiant delays flights to fix emergency slides

9/21/2013
BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Allegiant-Air-planes

In this Thursday, May 9, 2013, photo, a Southwest airliner comes in for a landing as a row of Allegiant Air jets are parked at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. While other U.S. airlines have struggled with the ups and downs of the economy and oil prices, tiny Allegiant Air has been profitable for 10 straight years. (AP Photo/David Becker)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAS VEGAS — Allegiant Air delayed dozens of flights Friday as it took most of its MD-80 aircraft out of service to overhaul emergency slides like the ones deployed in an aircraft evacuation earlier this week.

The slides worked properly Monday when smoke was reported in the cabin of an Allegiant MD-80 before takeoff in Las Vegas, company officials said, but a review found fleetwide maintenance of the chutes hadn’t complied with manufacturer’s recommendations.

Grounding the aircraft led to delays on most of the 121 flights Allegiant had scheduled Friday, a company spokesman said.

Allegiant flies seasonal service between Toledo Express Airport and three Florida airports, but none is currently operating. St. Petersburg-Clearwater flights are scheduled to resume Oct. 2, with Punta Gorda service resuming in mid-October, and Sanford in early November.

Allegiant shares closed down $5.08 at $97.91.