DALLAS – A pilot who ordered an emergency evacuation after smoke was detected coming from one of the jet’s engines is suing Allegiant Air for firing him.
The 43-year-old pilot says Allegiant is putting profits above safety. Allegiant says the evacuation was unnecessary and put passengers at risk — several were injured sliding down inflatable escape chutes.
The incident in June was one of many over the summer that brought unflattering attention to Allegiant. The Teamsters union, which is trying to negotiate Allegiant pilots’ first union contract, has publicized the events and accused the airline of cutting corners on safety.
The case highlights a natural tension in the airline industry: Captains are responsible for safety on the plane, but airlines can and do judge their work.