SpiceJet’s Woes Continue With Capacity Reduction

SpiceJet B737 aircraft in flight.
Daniel Murzello, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has yet again made it to the news for all the wrong reasons. The Indian Aviation authority DGCA has ordered SpiceJet to operate only 50% of its scheduled flights for the next 8 weeks.

This is one of the most stringent actions taken by DGCA on airlines in India recently.

DGCA had to pass such orders because, in recent times, SpiceJet has been involved in an unusually high number of incidents. Though this was shocking as this comes just a day after SpiceJet sent out a tweet

“India’s most-preferred airline is as safe and reliable as it has been for the last 17 years. Aviation regulator DGCA audited our entire operational fleet, and every plane has been given the green signal to fly, and there has been no safety violation,” SpiceJet tweeted this week.

SpiceJet had 8 incidents in the span of 18 days, these incidents involved windshield crack, smoke in the cabin, and malfunctioning indicator light, among other issues. 

Though after DGCA announced operational restrictions for the airline SpiceJet assured its travel partners and its customers that this would not affect its flight operations as due to the “Lean Travel” season airline had already altered its schedule.

“In view of 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 air transport service, the number of departures of SpiceJet is restricted to 50% of the number of departures approved… for a period of eight weeks.

During these eight weeks, the airline would be subjected to “enhanced surveillance”. Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 percent” 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, reads DGCA’S statement.

SpiceJet would not be affected as it has already been operating only 300 flights daily which are less than 4100 flights approved for the airline to fly weekly. The DGCA report also said SpiceJet has “poor internal oversight” and “Inadequate maintenance actions,” and unless and until it could improve it, these restrictions will apply to the carrier.

These restrictions sent a shockwave among the investors, and SpiceJet’s share took a dive of 10% hitting its 52-week low.

SpiceJet said in a statement, “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,” said the airline’s statement.

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