DGCA Issues Notice to SpiceJet Over Poor Safety Oversight

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India issued a show-cause notice to low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday after the airline reported eight malfunction issues in the last 18 days.

In its notice, the DGCA India asked the airline to explain why no action should be taken against it for failing to “establish safe, efficient, and reliable air services” under Aircraft Rules, 1937.

The DGCA reviewed events on Spicejet aircraft from April 01, 2022, to date, and it was discovered that on a number of occasions, the aircraft either returned to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins.

Recent Malfunction Incidents of SpiceJet

  • May 1: 12 passengers get hurt on Mumbai-Durgapur flight.
  • May 4: Snag forces SpiceJet flight to return to Chennai soon after take off.
  • May 30: DGCA fines airlines for training Boeing 737 MAX pilots on the faulty simulators.
  • July 2: Snag forces Delhi-Jabalpur to return to origin.
  • July 5: Delhi-Dubai flight diverts to Karachi post snag.
  • July 5: Kandla-Mumbai flight makes priority landing at the destination after windshield outer pane cracks.
  • July 5: Kolkata-China freighter returns to Kolkata post snag.

This shows that “poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system-related failure) has resulted in degradation of the safety margins;” said DGCA in the notice.

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According to the DGCA analysis, poor internal safety monitoring and insufficient maintenance measures (since most occurrences are due to component failure or system failure) have deteriorated the safety margins.

DGCA also stated that “financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has also revealed that airline is operating on Cash & Carry and Suppliers/Approved Vendors are not being paid on a regular basis leading to a shortage of spares and frequent invoking of MELs.”

“.. it may be deduced that SpiceJet has failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable air service (under rules)… Now therefore the accountable manager of SpiceJet is hereby called upon to show cause within three weeks of receipt of this notice as to why action should not be taken against the airline. In case no reply is received within the stipulated period, the matter will have proceeded ex – parte,” it added.

SpiceJet shares hit 52-week low level

SpiceJet shares fell another 7% on Wednesday, reaching a one-year low due to repeated incidents of technical problems with its aircraft in recent weeks. On the BSE, the stock dropped 7% to a 52-week low of 35.


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