Aviation regulator DGCA on Wednesday ordered SpiceJet airline to operate only 50 per cent of its flights for eight weeks.
“In view of findings of various spot checks, inspections and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by SpiceJet, for continued sustenance of safe and reliable air transport service, the number of departures of SpiceJet are restricted to 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under Summer schedule 2022 for a period of eight weeks,” said the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in an order.
During these eight weeks, the airline would be subjected to “enhanced surveillance” by the DGCA.
A Spicejet spokesperson said: “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 DGCA also said: “Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 per cent would 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.”
The regulator also said that “it was deduced that SpiceJet failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable air transport service” and a showcause notice was issued on July 5.
It said that it has been observed that Spicejet is taking measures to arrest the trend of incidents, however, it needs to sustain these efforts for a safe and reliable air transport service.
In response, the Spicejet spokesperson said: “DGCA’s observation that SpiceJet is taking measures for arresting the trend of incidents is very encouraging and we will continue to work under the close guidance of the regulator.”
The order said that the reported incidents from April 1 to July 5 were reviewed and it was observed that there is poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions which have resulted in degradation of the safety margins.
Financial assessment carried out by the DGCA in September 2021 revealed that Spicejet is operating on cash and carry and suppliers are not being paid on a regular basis leading to the shortrage of spares, said the aviation regulator.