Court dismisses legal bid to stop SpiceJet services due to safety concerns

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An Indian court dismissed a legal plea from a local lawyer asking that operations of the low-cost carrier SpiceJet be ceased due to safety concerns. 

Lawyer Rahul Bhardwaj filed the public interest litigation (PIL) after several incidents were reported on several SpiceJet passenger planes over the few months.  

In the PIL, which was reported by Live Law, Bhardwaj asked the Court to stop SpiceJet from flying in India and to appoint a commission to investigate whether its operations are properly managed. 

Bhardwaj alleged that the airline was not following safety requirements and that passengers’ lives were being put at risk due to technical malfunctions on SpiceJet aircraft.  

However, the Court argued that it cannot make SpiceJet cease operations based on allegations provided in the PIL and outlined that all incidents are currently under investigation by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA). 

The DGCA warned SpiceJet about safety oversight and maintenance on July 5, giving the airline three weeks to respond.  

“It is also brought to the notice of this Court by the counsel appearing for DGCA that as and when an incident or matter is reported to DGCA, action is taken with quite a promptitude, action has been initiated to some flights and some show cause notices have been issued,” Indian court news outlet Live Law cited the Court documents. 

SpiceJet planes have been involved in a number of incidents recently. For instance, on July 19, 2022, SpiceJet Boeing 737 suffered a bird strike while it was performing a domestic flight SG-723 between Patna (PAT) and Delhi (DEL). After the plane’s engine ingested a bird, it started emitting streaks of flames, due to which the aircraft returned to Patna for an emergency landing.  

On July 12, 2022, a flight between Dubai (DXB) and Madurai (IXM) was delayed before takeoff due to a malfunction of the aircraft’s nose wheel.  

Another SpiceJet plane, which was due to fly to Chongqing (CKG) on July 6, had to return to Kolkata (CCU) shortly after departure because the flight crew noticed malfunctions in the weather radar. A day before that, on July 5, a SpiceJet flight from Delhi (DEL) to Dubai (DXB) made an emergency landing in Karachi (KHI) with a suspected fuel leak after the plane suffered a fuel indicator malfunction.  

The same day, on a flight between Kandla (IXY) and Mumbai (BOM), the right-hand windshield of a turboprop cracked when it was nearing its destination, thus the pilots performed an emergency landing.  

Meanwhile, on July 2, DGCA received a report regarding smoke in the cabin event on a SpiceJet de Havilland Dash 8-400 flight from Delhi (DEL) to Jabalpur (JLR), following which the aircraft returned to the airport of departure.  

June of 2022  saw several incidents on SpiceJet flights as well. Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate SpiceJet aircraft during takeoff on June 24 and June 25 and both planes had to return to their airports of departure. 


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