By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi [India], July 6 (ANI): Facing showcause notice issued to the airline by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in view of the rising number of air safety incidents, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh on Wednesday said that they are running "a safe airline for the past 15 years" and that "one or two incidents being highlighted in media doesn't mean any airline is unsafe".
Ajay Singh told ANI that the kind of incidents being talked about are "trivial and happen on a daily basis in airlines". He said on average, 30 such incidents happen in airlines every day.
"SpiceJet running a safe airline for 15 years. The kind of incidents being talked about are trivial and happen on a daily basis in airlines. On average, 30 such incidents happen in airlines every day. SpiceJet's one or two incidents are being highlighted in the media. It is not okay. It does not mean that any airline is unsafe. When thousands of flights are operating, these trivial incidents happen," he said.
Asked about DGCA showcause notice to SpiceJet, he said it is the duty of every airline to operate safely.
"Since the matter is being highlighted in the media, it becomes the responsibility of DGCA to issue showcause notice. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the airlines to answer to DGCA," he said.
A Dubai-bound SpiceJet flight from Delhi was diverted to Karachi in Pakistan on Tuesday as the fuel indicator started malfunctioning.
More than 150 passengers were onboard the SpiceJet flight (Delhi-Dubai) that made an emergency landing in Karachi, Pakistan after developing a technical fault.
Following this, the DGCA ordered a probe into the incident.
"On July 5, 2022, M/s SpiceJet B737-8 Max aircraft VT-MXG while operating flight SG-011, Delhi - Dubai, the crew observed unusual fuel quantity reduction from the left tank. They carried out a relevant non-normal checklist, however fuel quantity kept on decreasing. PIC decided to divert the aircraft to Karachi (KHI). Aircraft diverted in coordination with ATC and landed safely at KHI," DGCA had said.
SpiceJet said the flight was diverted when it was on the way to Dubai.
Another aircraft of the low-cost carrier reported a glitch in its Kandla - Mumbai flight on Tuesday. This was the second incident involving the airline in a day.
Earlier on Saturday, a domestic flight made an emergency landing after its cabin filled with smoke soon after take-off for the central city of Jabalpur.
A senior DGCA official said that they are investigating all seven incidents on SpiceJet aircraft reported in the last 17 days. On June 19, two incidents were reported in two separate flights of SpiceJet. First, a Delhi-bound flight carrying over 185 passengers, which took off from Patna airport, had to make an emergency landing as its left engine caught fire. The airline said a bird hit that had damaged fan blades.
In another incident on the same day, the SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane from Delhi to Jabalpur made an emergency landing in Delhi as the cabin pressure couldn't be built up as the plane gained altitude.
In its showcause notice, DGCA said Spicejet Ltd. has "failed to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services under terms of Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937".
"The reported incidents on aircraft operated by Spicejet Ltd. from April 1, 2022, till date have been reviewed and it has been observed that on a number of occasions, the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins," DGCA said.
Referring to the review, the safety regulator said it transpires that "poor internal safety oversight" and "inadequate maintenance actions" has resulted in "degradation of the safety margins".
A senior DGCA official said on average about 30 incidents do take place, including go-around, missed approaches, diversion, medical emergencies, weather, technical and bird hits. Most of them have no safety implications, he said.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday expressed his concern over recent incidents related to SpiceJet and said passenger safety is paramount. "Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated and course-corrected," he said. (ANI)
Kind of incidents being talked about are trivial, 30 such incidents happen in airlines every day: SpiceJet MD
ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2022 20:21 IST
By Ashoke Raj