DGCA orders 'snag-prone' SpiceJet to run only 50% flights
Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday directed the private airline SpiceJet to operate only 50 percent of its flights for eight weeks. The move comes following a series of snags that interrupted its flight operations and forced emergency landings. The aviation regulator ordered this after various spot checks, inspections, and SpiceJet's response to the show cause notice, NDTV reported.
- The DGCA's directive concerning SpiceJet comes at a time when some of its planes are experiencing technical difficulties.
- In fact, according to a LocalCircles study conducted in May 2022, SpiceJet topped the list of airlines whose services were deemed the worst.
- Notably, the poll found that Indian airlines have compromised customers' comfort in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"The number of departures of SpiceJet is restricted to 50% of the number of departures approved for a period of eight weeks...for the continued sustenance of safe and reliable air transport service," the DGCA said in an order. The order was issued "in view of findings of various spot checks, inspections, and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by SpiceJet," it added.
This might be the worst punishment imposed on any airline in recent memory. Eight incidences of flying safety were documented in just 18 days. The DGCA directive said that SpiceJet's departures will be expanded if the airline "demonstrated to the satisfaction" of the aviation regulator "about sufficient technical support and financial resource to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity."
Early this month DGCA also sent a notice to SpiceJet highlighting "poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions" that resulted in degradation of the safety margins. "Financial assessment revealed that the airline is operating on 'cash-and-carry' (model) and suppliers/approved vendors are not being paid on a regular basis, leading to a shortage of spare," the notice said.
The DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to the low-cost airline because its planes witnessed eight malfunction incidents within 18 days of June and July. The notice had said that SpiceJet had failed to "establish safe, efficient and reliable air services" under the terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. The airline was given three weeks to respond.