SpiceJet to continue operating at 50% capacity till 29 Oct, says DGCA

  • The DGCA has extended SpiceJet's suspension to operate at 50% capacity till 29 October

Meghna Sen
Updated21 Sep 2022
SpiceJet to continue operating at 50% capacity till 29 Oct.
SpiceJet to continue operating at 50% capacity till 29 Oct.

Budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd will have to continue operating at 50% capacity till 29 October, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Wednesday. The DGCA said that the restrictions have been extended as a matter of "abundant caution."

However, the aviation regulator has noted that there is appreciable reduction in number of safety incidents.

The DGCA has asked the airline to operate only limited flights for now as a safety precaution.

The DGCA has earlier issued a warning notice to SpiceJet after a review of recent incidents by the watchdog showed "poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions" by the airline.

The aviation regulator said that a review of several incidents involving SpiceJet's planes since 1 April showed that "the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins".

In recent months, SpiceJet has been facing turbulent times, including financial headwinds. Back in July, the regulator directed the airline to operate only 50% of flights in the wake of many of its planes facing technical issues.

SpiceJet sends 80 pilots on 3-month leave without pay

The crisis-hit airline has asked 80 of its pilots to go on a three-month leave without pay. The move is a temporary measure to rationalise cost, the Gurgaon-headquartered airline said.

"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- -vis the aircraft fleet," the budget carrier's statement read.

The pilots who have been forced to go on leave without pay are from the airline's Boeing and Bombardier fleet.

"The financial crisis of the airline was known to us but the suddenness of the decision has shocked many of us. There is also uncertainty about the company's financial situation after three months. There is no assurance if those forced to go on leave will even be called back," a pilot said.

This is reportedly the first time the airline has sent pilots on forced leave in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of SpiceJet have fallen 43.4% so far this year, compared to a 17.6% fall in rival Interglobe Aviation .

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