Civil Aviation issued a show cause notice to Spicejet after emergency landing in Karachi

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) India has issued a show cause notice to SpiceJet after eight malfunction incidents in 18 days. This came after SpiceJet was hit with another technical snag on July 5 with the weather radar on one of its flights to China malfunctioning.

“The review (of incidents) 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) have resulted in degradation of the safety margins,” the notice stated.

The DGCA has given SpiceJet three weeks to respond to the notice.

“Financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has also revealed that the airline is operating on a ‘cash-and-carry’ (model) and suppliers/ approved vendors are not being paid on a regular basis, leading to shortage of spares and frequent invoking of MELs (minimum equipment lists),” it stated.

The DGCA said SpiceJet has failed to “establish a safe, efficient and reliable air service” under terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

In a statement, SpiceJet said that they will respond to the DGCA notice within the specified time period.

“SpiceJet is in receipt of the DGCA notice and will be responding within the specified time period. We are committed to ensuring a safe operation for our passengers and crew,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

“We are an IATA-IOSA certified airline. 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 statement added.

On Tuesday, July 5, SpiceJet’s Boeing 737 freighter (cargo aircraft) was scheduled to operate from Kolkata to Chongqing. After take-off, the weather radar stopped working, following which the pilot in charge decided to return to Kolkata. The aircraft landed safely at Kolkata, a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

Earlier on Tuesday, a SpiceJet flight made a “normal landing” at Jinnah International Airport in Pakistan’s Karachi after an indicator light had malfunctioned. The Delhi to Dubai bound aircraft landed safely at Karachi airport and no emergency was declared, SpiceJet said.