DGCA extends 50% restriction on SpiceJet flights by a month

DGCA extends 50% restriction on SpiceJet flights by a month

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended the 50% restriction on SpiceJet flights’ summer schedule by a month from September 28 to October 29, according to a new order.

The aviation regulator had imposed the restriction on SpiceJet flights on July 27 for a period of eight weeks after the airline reported frequent air safety incidents.

“The review has indicated that there is appreciable reduction in the number of safety incidents. However, as a matter of abundant caution the competent authority has decided that the restriction as imposed in the order dated 27.07.2022 shall continue to be in force till the end of the summer schedule i.e 29.10.2022, in accordance with the powers conferred under rule 19A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937,” said the DGCA order dated September 21.

DGCA also clarified that any increase in the number of departures beyond 50% of the total number of departures approved under the Summer Schedule 2022, during this period, will be subject to the airline satisfying DGCA that it has sufficient technical support and financial resources to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity.

“During this period, the airline shall be subject to enhanced surveillance by DGCA,” the order added.

DGCA had conducted various checks and review of the safety performance of the airline before issuing the interim order dated July 27.

This extension of flight restriction by a month comes a day after the airline sent around 80 of its pilots for ‘leave without pay’ (LWP) for three months.

The Guguram-based airline, which is facing a liquidity crunch on Tuesday, said that the measure was in line with its policy of not retrenching any employee, which it followed even during the pandemic, adding that the move will help rationalise pilot strength vis-à-vis its aircraft fleet.

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