DGCA extends 50% cap on SpiceJet flights till next month


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended the 50 per cent restriction on SpiceJet flights till October 29.
“Based on the review of the safety performance of Spicejet, the authorities issued an Interim Order of even number dated 27 July 2022 whereby restricting the number of departures of Spicejet to 50% of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for a period of eight weeks,” DGCA said in its order. Whereas the review has indicated that there is an appreciable reduction in the number of safety incidents, it said.
“However, as a matter of abundant caution, the competent authority has decided that the restriction as imposed on July 27 this year shall continue to be in force till the end of the summer schedule on September 29, in accordance with the powers conferred under rule 19A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937,” it further read.
The DGCA stated that any increase in the number of departures beyond the 50% approved during this period is subject to the airline demonstrating to the satisfaction of the DGCA that it has sufficient technical support and financial resources to undertake such increased capacity safely and efficiently. During this period, the airline shall be subject to “enhanced surveillance” by the DGCA, it reads.
Earlier on July 27, reviewing Spicejet’s reply on show cause notice, the DGCA had restricted the airline to operating only 50% of flights for eight weeks.
In a letter to Spicejet, the Joint Director General of Civil Aviation mentioned that the reported incidents on aircraft operated by Spicejet from 1st April to 5th July 2022 were reviewed and it was observed that on a number of occasions, the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins. There is poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions, which have resulted in the degradation of the safety margins.