Indian civil aviation authorities have issued a warning to low-cost carrier SpiceJet over what they described as poor safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a “show cause” notice dated July 5, 2022 that it had reviewed a number of incidents since April 1, 2022 and observed that on a number of occasions “the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landed to the destination with degraded safety margins.”
“The review transpires 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 the safety margins,” the DGCA wrote in the letter, which was posted on social media on July 6, 2022, by the country’s ministry of civil aviation.
In light of the recent incidences of technical malfunction with regard to @flyspicejet flights in the last 18 days, the @DGCAIndia has issued a show cause notice to the air carrier. pic.twitter.com/1umJSOPhdK— MoCA_GoI (@MoCA_GoI) July 6, 2022
The DGCA’s letter also referred to a financial assessment that it carried out in September 2021 which showed that suppliers were not being paid on a regular basis, leading to a shortage of spare parts.
The DGCA therefore said it could be deduced that SpiceJet had failed to establish “safe, efficient and reliable air services”.
According to the notice, management now has three weeks to explain why authorities should not take action against SpiceJet.
A spokesperson for SpiceJet confirmed to AeroTime that the company had received the DGCA notice and would respond within the time specified.
“We are committed to ensuring a safe operation for our passengers and crew,” the spokesperson said, adding that SpiceJet was an IATA-IOSA certified airline.
The statement continued: “SpiceJet successfully completed the meticulous audit program for recertification in October 2021. We have been regularly audited by DGCA. All our aircraft were audited a month ago by the regulator and found to be safe. All flights of SpiceJet are conducted in compliance with the applicable regulations of the DGCA Civil Aviation Regulations on the subject.”
The airline’s most recent incident came on July 5, 2022, when a Boeing 737 operating from Delhi to Dubai was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The airline said that the aircraft landed safely, and a replacement aircraft was being sent to bring passengers to their destination.
#SpiceJetStatement: On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi – Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked. >>— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) July 5, 2022
The carrier has also come under fire over training of Boeing 737 MAX pilots, after the regulator found the simulator used to train 90 SpiceJet pilots was faulty.