The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet, following nine cases of snags in a span of two months. SpiceJet has three weeks to explain why action should not be taken against it.
The latest such glitch of a flight mid-air occurred today, when a SpiceJet Boeing 747 freighter flying to Chongqing, China from Kolkata, returned back to the origin airport after its weather radar malfunctioned. It was the third such adverse incident concerning the airline in a span of 24 hours. On July 5, a flight bound to Dubai from New Delhi made an emergency landing in the Pakistani city of Karachi due to a technical malfunction. A flight from Kandla (Gujarat) to Mumbai also saw its windshield crack mid-air, causing it to make an emergency landing.
Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia, retweeted his ministry's public announcement of the notice and stated that all matters pertaining to safety would be investigated.
All the recent glitches can be seen below.
What does the notice say?
The notice says that since April 1, the airline operated flights has turned back to the origin or landed at the destination with "degraded safety margins" several times, which it attributes to poor internal maintenance oversight.
SpiceJet is facing a severe cash crunch, and this has been mentioned by the notice as a factor that infringes on SpiceJet's maintenance capabilities. The notice notes that SpiceJet has been operating on a cash-and-carry basis, and vendors are not being paid on time.
The airline has three weeks to respond.
Industry leader Indigo too is having its fair share of trouble with the regulators after several of its employees played truant, allegedly appearing for job interviews at rival Air India, which is now privately owned by the Tata group. Air India denies holding any recruitment drive that day.
Indigo faced major disruptions in its flights over the weekend of July 2 and July 3, reportedly prompting the government to investigate it too.
SpiceJet hit a 52-week low of ₹35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, but recovered sharply, closing 2.12% higher at ₹38.45.