Home / Companies / News /  90 SpiceJet pilots restrained from flying Boeing 737 Max: DGCA
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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has barred 90 pilots of SpiceJet airline from operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft after finding they were not properly trained.

"90 pilots have been restrained from flying the Boeing 737 MAX. They will have to undergo training again to the satisfaction of DGCA," DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar told ANI news agency.

He also said that the regulator will take "strict action against those found responsible for the lapse."

The pilots will have to undergo training again, in a proper manner, on the Max simulator.

A SpiceJet spokesperson told the agency that the restriction by the DGCA does not impact the airline's operation.

"This restriction does not impact the operations of MAX aircraft whatsoever. SpiceJet currently operates 11 MAX aircraft and about 144 pilots are required to operate these 11 aircraft. Of the 650 trained pilots on the MAX, 560 continue to remain available," the spokesperson said.

The DGCA had mounted enhanced surveillance on Boeing 737 aircraft fleet operated by Indian airlines after a 737-800 plane operated by China airline crashed on mountains in southern China killing 132 people on board last month.

The Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded in India by the DGCA on March 13, 2019, three days after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max aircraft near Addis Ababa, which killed 157 people, including four Indians.

The ban on the planes was lifted in August last year after the DGCA was satisfied with US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing's necessary software rectifications in the aircraft.

Proper pilot training on the simulator was also among the conditions of the DGCA for removing the ban on the Max planes after a span of 27 months.

Indian airlines like SpiceJet, Vistara and Air India Express operate Boeing 737 aircraft in their fleets. While Vistara had about five Boeing 737-800NG planes, Air India Express has 24 Boeing 737-800NG in its fleet. Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's Akasa will be another airline that will use this aircraft.

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