Friday, August 19, 2022

SpiceJet’s malfunctioning woes: CMD assures safety

Some problem range from a cracked windshield to an aircraft being diverted due to malfunctioning of the fuel indicator

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has, of late, been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Over the last few weeks, not a day has passed without SpiceJet planes facing some problem or the other: These range from a cracked windshield to an aircraft being diverted due to malfunctioning of the fuel indicator.

SpiceJet’s CMD Ajay Singh pointed out to PTI that “a lot of these incidents that are being reported are relatively minor in nature and happen to every airline. This is nothing unique”, he said. However, he assured that the carrier would be “doubly careful” and strengthen inspection of aircraft before they start flights.

It may be pointed out that India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet on July 6 this year after the carrier witnessed eight technical malfunction incidents involving its planes in the last 18 days. In the show-cause notice, the DGCA pointed out the financial audit of SpiceJet in September 2021 according to which the airline had not been paying its component vendors regularly and that had led to shortage of spare parts.

The notice also mentioned that the airline had failed to “establish safe, efficient and reliable air services” under the terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

Barely a week ago, SpiceJet’s Delhi-Dubai flight had to be diverted to Karachi because of a malfunctioning fuel indicator while its Kandla-Mumbai flight had to be given priority landing in Mumbai after cracks were seen on its windshield during the flight

Speaking to PTI, Singh said SpiceJet would work with the DGCA “to ensure that if they feel that there are any gaps at all in our system, we will address them. There is nothing more important than safety”.  He also emphasized that the incidents had nothing to do with the shortage of spare parts.

Singh said among the regular thousands of flights taking place each day, the air conditioning would fail sometimes, there could be bird hits or even a fuel indicator lighting up. “These things are going to happen and, of course, we have to minimise that to the greatest extent possible. That is our job and it is the regulator’s job to push us to make things better, which we will do,” Singh told PTI.

He went on to assure the interviewer that SpiceJet would “have to be doubly careful. We will rigorously inspect aircraft when they leave for a flight, which we already do, but we will strengthen the inspection”.

Barely a week ago, SpiceJet’s Delhi-Dubai flight had to be diverted to Karachi because of a malfunctioning fuel indicator while its Kandla-Mumbai flight had to be given priority landing in Mumbai after cracks were seen on its windshield during the flight.

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Tirthankar Ghosh
Tirthankar Ghosh is a senior journalist and presently Managing Editor, Newsline Publications. He has also been writing for well over 15 years for the New York-based Air Cargo News Flying Typers.

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