'Confident of addressing DGCA's concerns': SpiceJet on grounding of 50 per cent of its flights

The DGCA had on Wednesday ordered SpiceJet to operate not more than 50 per cent of its flights for eight weeks after several of its planes reported technical malfunction recently.

Published: 28th July 2022 10:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2022 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

SpiceJet flight (File Photo | PTI)

SpiceJet flight. (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A day after it was asked by the aviation regulator to curtail its services by half, Spicejet said on Thursday that it is confident of scaling up its operations and addressing concerns of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

It also said that all its flights departed on time on Thursday.

The DGCA had on Wednesday ordered SpiceJet to operate not more than 50 per cent of its flights for eight weeks after several of its planes reported technical malfunction recently.

SpiceJet said in a statement that there have been no flight cancellations due to the DGCA's order.

This has been possible as SpiceJet, like other airlines, had already rescheduled its flight operations due to the current lean travel season, it noted.

“All SpiceJet flights departed on time, as per schedule today morning," it said.

There has been absolutely no impact on the airline's schedule following Wednesday's order by the regulator, it said.

"We would like to once again reassure our passengers and travel partners that our flights will operate as per schedule in the coming days and weeks," it mentioned.

"SpiceJet is confident of scaling up its operations and addressing any concern the regulator may have on priority,”" it stated.

The DGCA had said that the budget carrier will remain under its "enhanced surveillance" for the next eight weeks.

On March 11, the DGCA approved 4,192 weekly domestic flights of SpiceJet for this year's summer schedule, which ends on October 29.

Wednesday's order means the budget carrier will be able to operate not more than 2,096 weekly flights for the next eight weeks.

SpiceJet's planes were involved in at least eight incidents of technical malfunction between June 19 and July 5, following which the DGCA on July 6 issued a show cause notice to the airline.

"In view of the findings of various spot checks, inspections and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by SpiceJet, for the continued sustenance of safe and reliable transport service, the number of departures of SpiceJet is hereby restricted to 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under summer schedule 2022 for a period of eight weeks," the aviation regulator's order on Wednesday said.

The DGCA said that if the airline wants to increase the number of flights beyond 50 per cent during the eight weeks, it will have to demonstrate that it has "sufficient technical support and financial resources to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity".

The regulator said it conducted a financial audit of the airline in September last year and found the carrier is operating on a "cash and carry model" and the suppliers and vendors are not being paid on a regular basis, leading to a shortage of spare parts.

There is "poor internal safety oversight" and "inadequate maintenance actions" in the airline which has resulted in degradation of "safety margins", it said.



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