IOWA (CBS Local) – 157 passengers are safe after an Allegiant Airlines flight from Iowa to Arizona was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff.
According to The Gazette, the flight took off from The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids on July 5, but was forced to land just 17 minutes into the trip after smoke was reported in the Airbus A320’s cabin.
“The crew declared an emergency out of an abundance of caution and the plane landed normally,” according to a statement from Allegiant spokesperson Krysta Levy. “The aircraft was met by local fire and rescue (as is procedure for all emergency landings) and they found nothing unusual.”
“The plane started taking off and my wife started smelling an electrical smoke,” passenger Chris Pelton told The Gazette while waiting for a new flight. “We looked around as we were taking off and started seeing haze from smoke.”
Allegiant Air came under fire after a CBS “60 Minutes” report in April, which accused the airline of having an alarming number of aborted takeoffs, cabin pressure losses, and emergency descents.
Allegiant disputed the safety claims, saying “Allegiant complies with all FAA requirements and participates in numerous voluntary safety programs.”