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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) capped SpiceJet’s flights on July 27 for eight weeks after safety violations. Its new order will not affect schedules as the airline is anyway operating less than 50 per cent of flights for the summer schedule.
“Whereas the review has indicated that there is an appreciable reduction in the number of safety incidents. However as a matter of abundant caution the competent authority has decided that the restriction as imposed in the order dated 27-07-2022 shall continue to be in force till the end of summer schedule -29-10-2022,” said Maneesh Kumar, DGCA’s joint director, in an order on Wednesday.
"SpiceJet will have to demonstrate that it has sufficient technical support and financial resources to operate more than 50 per cent of its approved flights and will continue to remain under enhanced surveillance,” Kumar said.
SpiceJet did not immediately react to the order. In July, the airline had said it continues to work under DGCA’s guidance.
DGCA, in the first week of July, issued SpiceJet a notice alleging failure to establish safe, efficient and reliable services following a spate of eight incidents within a month. After a financial audit last year, DGCA found that SpiceJet had an inadequate pool of spare parts.
In an interim order on July 27, the DGCA imposed the capacity restriction. The regulator’s new order comes a day after SpiceJet put 80 of its pilots on leave without pay amid financial stress and delay in funding
SpiceJet inducted around 30 Boeing 737NG aircraft flown earlier by Jet Airways. Fuel-efficient Boeing 737 Max aircraft were to replace the planes but their delivery was stalled due to a global grounding and later due to Covid-19.
An airline source said SpiceJet sent the pilots on leave in view of financial stress. The airline has pilots in excess of its current operating requirements, said the source.
SpiceJet posted a net loss of Rs 789 crore in April-June quarter of FY 2023 due to high fuel prices and a weaker rupee. It aims to raise Rs 2,000 crore in fresh funds and said to be in talks with potential investors.
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First Published: Wed, September 21 2022. 19:10 IST