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Govt red-flags SpiceJet as 8 planes develop technical snags in 18 days while flying

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An unusually high number of technical snags in SpiceJet planes which put passengers at risk, has prompted the aviation regulator DGCA to seek an explanation from the airline.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has red flagged the manner in which SpiceJet is operating as an inspection has revealed "poor internal safety oversight" and vendors not being paid on time, leading to shortage of spare parts for the airline’s planes.

As many as 8 SpiceJet planes have developed technical faults in the last 18 days while flying to their destinations. Two incidents took place yesterday when a Dubai-bound SpiceJet flight was forced to land in Karachi and another SpiceJet cargo plane flying to China had to return to Kolkata after its weather radar stopped working.

"It has been observed that at a number of occasions, the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing at the destination with degraded safety margins," the DGCA said in its notice to SpiceJet.

The DGCA stated that its review 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 safety margins."

"Financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has also revealed that the airline is operating on cash and carry and suppliers/approved vendors are not being paid on a regular basis, leading to shortage of spares…" it said. "…It may be deduced that SpiceJet Ltd has failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable air service," the DGCA said.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia also tweeted a copy of the DGCA notice. "Passenger safety is paramount. Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated and course-corrected," he said.

Also read: Dubai-bound Spicejet flight makes emergency landing at Karachi due to technical snag