A day after it was asked by Directorate General of Civil Aviation to curtail its flights by half, SpiceJet said on Thursday, 28 July, said that there has been no impact on its flight operations due to the aviation authority's direction.
The airline said in a statement that there have been no flight cancellations due to the DGCA's order. “All SpiceJet flights departed on time, as per schedule today morning," it said.
This has been possible as SpiceJet, like other airlines, had already rescheduled its flight operations due to the current lean travel season, it noted. The airline said it was confident of scaling up its operations and addressing concerns of the aviation authority.
"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.
On Wednesday, the airline had indicated that it would "act as per directions of the regulator," but stressed that there would be "absolutely no impact on our flight operations."
What Did the DGCA Order Say?
The DGCA had on Wednesday ordered SpiceJet to operate not more than 50 percent of its flights "approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for eight weeks," after several of its planes reported technical malfunctions recently.
"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 percent of the number of departures approved under summer schedule 2022 for a period of 8 weeks."DGCA
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 regulatory body further observed in its order that:
On a number of occasions, the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins
There is poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions on SpiceJet flights
Financial assessment carried out in September 2021, revealed that the airlines is operating on "cash & carry" add suppliers and vendors are not being paid
Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 percent 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
During these eight weeks period, the airline shall be subjected to “Enhanced Surveillance’ by DGCA
The DGCA had conducted 53 spot checks on 48 SpiceJet aircraft between 9 July to 13 July and it did not find any major safety violations, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh had said in the Rajya Sabha Monday.
On 6 July, the DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since 19 June.
This had come after at least 13 incidents reported over a 10-month period.