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Aviation regulator removes SpiceJet from enhanced surveillance regime

Airline has taken 'suitable maintenance action', says DGCA after checking its fleet

The Delhi-bound SpiceJet airplane following its emergency landing after it caught fire mid-air, at Jai Prakash Narayan Airport, in Patna (Photo: PTI)

SpiceJet was put under surveillance on June 22 following incidents of aeroplane malfunction during the monsoon season last year.

Ajinkya Kawale Mumbai

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India’s aviation regulator has removed SpiceJet from its so-called enhanced surveillance, saying the no-frills airline had taken "suitable maintenance action".

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted 51 checks in 11 places in India on the airline’s fleet, which includes Boeing 737 and Bombardier DHC Q-400 aeroplanes.

 “...a total 23 aircraft were inspected and 95 observations were made by the DGCA teams. The findings were of routine nature and were not considered significant by DGCA,” it said.

SpiceJet was put under surveillance on June 22 following incidents of aeroplane malfunction during the monsoon season last year.

The airline reported at least eight incidents of technical malfunction between June 19, 2022, and July 6, 2022, following which the DGCA ordered it to operate 50 per cent of its scheduled flights. The limit was removed on October 21, 2022.

Enhanced surveillance includes more spot checks by the regulator, especially at night. SpiceJet’s share in the domestic passenger market dropped from 5.4 per cent in May to 4.4 per cent in June, according to DGCA data.

The Supreme Court on July 7 declined SpiceJet’s application to extend the deadline for making a Rs 380 crore interest payment to media baron Kalanithi Maran and his Kal Airways in a share-transfer dispute case.

Kal Airways said on July 10 there was no question of an amicable settlement with SpiceJet and asked the carrier to pay up the interest amount according to the court order.

The Delhi High Court on Monday also asked SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director Ajay Singh to be present in court during the next hearing on September 5. This was on an application by Kal Airways and Kalanithi Maran for an urgent hearing of its enforcement petition.

The court has also issued a notice to SpiceJet and Singh to file an affidavit disclosing their assets before the next hearing.    

Singh has also announced his decision to infuse Rs 500 crore in the cash-strapped airline by subscribing fresh equity shares and/or convertible instruments.

The airline’s consolidated net loss swelled to Rs 1,744 crore in FY22, from Rs 1,030 crore in FY21. It has not released FY23 results, citing the "medical incapacitation" of a key member of its audit committee. 

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First Published: Jul 25 2023 | 1:58 PM IST

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