InvestorQ : Why is there a restriction on SpiceJet to cut down departures by 50%?
Mahima Roy made post

Why is there a restriction on SpiceJet to cut down departures by 50%?

3 weeks ago

SpiceJet now has a unique problem on hand. After a series of near misses, DGCA has decided to cut departures of SpiceJet by half. DGCA instructed SpiceJet to operate only 50% of its flights over the next eight weeks. Even after that, DGCA will only allow full capacity flights is reassured that SpiceJet can run a safe and reliable service. During this period, DGCA will subject SpiceJet to enhanced surveillance, closer monitoring and make them demonstrate rapid improvement in safety standards and the quality of its service.

It is only after DGCA is convinced about the safety standards and the adequate technical support and financial resources that the airline would be permitted to run at above 50% capacity. This is likely to add to the burden of SpiceJet as it will have a huge fixed cost lag. Between now and October 2022, Spice Jet can only operate 2,096 flights out of the scheduled 4,192 departures every week. SpiceJet has tried its best to reassure passengers that things are under control but people are already sceptical about flying SpiceJet.

In last few weeks, there have been a slew of incidents where passenger safety was compromised by Spice Jet. Earlier, DGCA had also sent a show cause notice to SpiceJet due to the rising number of air safety incidents. The DGCA had given stringent observations about poor internal safety supervision and inadequate maintenance actions. This had resulted in a sharp fall in the safety standards and it was absolutely unacceptable in an industry where safety is first and foremost above all else.

There are also worries about the financial condition of Spice Jet and its likely impact on safety. DGCA has flagged that delays in payments had apparently led to the shortage of spare parts. DGCA also revealed that Spice Jet had been operating on cash & carry basis, which is normally a desperate situatin wherein payments are not made on time and fuel is not supplied without cash. DGCA also pointed out that the suppliers and approved vendors were were not being paid on time leading to shortage of spares.

There have been too many unsavoury incidents in the recent past. Recently, a freighter aircraft to Chongqing, China returned to Kolkata as the weather radar was dysfunctional. Similarly, Spice Jet flight from Delhi to Dubai was diverted to Karachi due to fuel indicator not functioning. Worse still, a Kandla-Mumbai flight developed cracks on its windshield. There were other such incidents like smoke in the cabin, fuselage door warnings and cabin depressurisation and these did not even meet the basic safety standards for airlines.