After repeated incidents that raised flight safety concerns, India’s aviation regulator had barred SpiceJet from operating at more than 50 per cent of its capacity in July. The following months saw the airline sending 80 pilots on leave without pay, while offering a hikes to their remaining colleagues. After extending the limitations on SpiceJet’s operations for another month, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has finally allowed the carrier to fully resume operations.
Respite after unending turbulence
As SpiceJet tried to elevate its business following Pandemic pressure, it ran into trouble because of incidents involving turbulence and a close call when two of its aircraft were about to collide. After facing action over these accidents, the airline can finally operate at 100 per cent capacity from October 30, after three months of only 2,096 flights per week. The DGCA had cited lack of oversight about security issues and poor maintenance, for its order against SpiceJet in July.
Voluntarily halting flights
The decision also comes a day after SpiceJet temporarily halted two flights to Sikkim over operational constraints and safety issues caused by extreme weather and low visibility in the hills. This move has completely cut off air connectivity for Sikkim, as SpiceJet was the only airline flying to its Pakyong Airport. Now travellers will be forced to travel five hours by road for five hours, for reaching the tourist destination.
Safety concerns persist
Concerns have also been raised about a recent incident when smoke filled the cabin durnig a SpiceJet flight, prompting netizens to demand action against the carrier. The crewmembers were also called out for telling passengers to pray amid turbulence, and sparking panic among them. Amid hopes of resuming 100 per cent operation from November, SpiceJet had also raised salary of pilots by 55 per cent to Rs 7 lakh for flying 80 hours a month.