The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday (July 27) ordered budget airline SpiceJet to operate a maximum 50% of its flights, which were approved for summer schedule, for a period of eight weeks.
On July 6, the aviation regulator issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19.
“In view of the findings of various spot checks, inspections and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by SpiceJet, for continued sustenance of safe and reliable transport service, the number of departures of SpiceJet are hereby restricted to 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under summer schedule 2022 for a period of 8 weeks,” the aviation regulator’s order on Wednesday said.
“Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50% of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022, during this period, shall be subject to the airline demonstrating to the satisfaction of DGCA that it has sufficient technical support and financial resource to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity,” it added.
During these eight weeks period, the airline shall be subjected to “enhanced surveillance” by DGCA, the order said.
“There is poor internal safety and inadequate maintenance actions, which have resulted in degradation of the safety margins,” DGCA said.
It added that SpiceJet “failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable air transport service”.
Responding to the order, SpiceJet said will be “absolutely no impact” on its flight operations.
“We are in receipt of the DGCA order and will act as per directions of the regulator. Due to the current lean travel season, SpiceJet like other airlines had already rescheduled its flight operations. Hence, there will be absolutely no impact on our flight operations. We want to reassure our passengers and travel partners that our flights will operate as per schedule in the coming days and weeks. There will be no flight cancellation as a consequence of this order,” the airline said in a statement.
On Tuesday, SpiceJet tweeted, “India’s most-preferred airline is as safe and reliable as it has been for the last 17 years. Aviation regulator DGCA audited our entire operational fleet and every plane has been given the green signal to fly and there has been no safety violation.”