Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended restrictions on the low-cost airline SpiceJet to operate only 50 per cent of departures till October 29, 2022. DGCA is India's airline and airport regulatory body.
In a statement, the DGCA noted that there is appreciable reduction in number of safety incidents.
"The review has indicated that there is appreciable reduction in number of safety incidents. However, as a matter of abundant caution the competent authority has decided that the restriction as imposed in the order shall continue to be in force till the end of the summer schedule i.e., October 29, in accordance with the powers conferred under rule 19A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937," the statement read.
The civil aviation body added that any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 per cent of the total number of departures approved under the 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."
Unusually high number of safety incidents
The DGCA, on July 6, issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction and an unusually high number of safety incidents in its aircraft in 18 days, since June 19.
SpiceJet sends 80 pilots on three-month leave without pay
The development comes a day after the crisis-hit airline asked over 80 of its pilots to go on a three-month leave without pay. It said that the move is temporary measure to rationalise cost.
"This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet’s policy of not retrenching any employee which the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the Covid pandemic, will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-à-vis the aircraft fleet,” the Gurgaon-headquartered carrier said in a statement.
It is also pertinent to mention here that the shares of SpiceJet have fallen 43.4 per cent so far this year, compared to a 17.6 per cent fall in rival Interglobe Aviation.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)