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DGCA clips SpiceJet's wings; flights limited to 50% for next 8 weeks

DGCA clips SpiceJet's wings; flights limited to 50% for next 8 weeks

Despite the restriction, SpiceJet claims no flights will be cancelled due to the order and passengers who have booked tickets need not worry.

During these 8 weeks, the airline will be subject to “Enhanced Surveillance”, DGCA noted. (Representative image) During these 8 weeks, the airline will be subject to “Enhanced Surveillance”, DGCA noted. (Representative image)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday directed SpiceJet to restrict flight departures to 50 per cent for the next eight weeks following a number of technical snags.

"In view of findings of various spot checks, inspections and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by Spicejet, for continued sustenance of safe and reliable air transport service, the number of departures of Spicejet are hereby restricted to 50% of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for a period of 8 weeks from the date of issue of this order, in accordance with powers conferred under rule 19A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937," the DGCA order read.

"Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 per cent 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," the order further stated.

During these 8 weeks, the airline will be subject to “Enhanced Surveillance”, DGCA noted.

Meanwhile, a SpiceJet spokesperson told Business Today TV that the carrier 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," the spokesperson added.

Despite the restriction, SpiceJet claimed that no flights will be cancelled due to the order and passengers who have booked tickets need not worry. "...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," the spokesperson stated.

Shares of SpiceJet on Wednesday closed 0.39 per cent lower at Rs 38.30 apiece on BSE.

SpiceJet planes were involved in at least eight technical malfunction incidents in the 18 days starting June 19, following which the DGCA had on July 6 issued a show-cause notice to the airline, stating that ''poor internal safety oversight'' and ''inadequate maintenance actions'' have resulted in degradation of safety margins.

(With inputs from Poulomi Saha and Karishma Asoodani)