Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet has been plagued by a wave of technical issues this week, with three of its planes suffering faults in a single day. The news comes as part of a worrying trend of malfunctions on SpiceJet flights, prompting concerns about the safety of the carrier. Some claim that the carrier is cutting corners to save money and are calling on India’s aviation regulator (DGCA) to act.
Three Malfunctions in a Day
On Tuesday, 5 July, three of SpiceJet’s aircraft encountered problems that affected the flight. The first occurred on a plane carrying 138 passengers from the Indian capital Delhi to Dubai. Less than an hour into the journey, the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing in the Pakistani city of Karachi after problems with the fuel system were identified. A replacement jet was sourced, and passengers eventually arrived in Dubai 12 hours late.
On the same day, two other SpiceJet flights encountered difficulties whilst in the air. A Kandla to Mumbai suffered a cracked windshield and managed to land safely, and a freighter travelling from Kolkata was forced to turn around after a malfunction with its weather radar system.
A Worrying trend
The recent incidents come as part of a broader trend of aircraft faults on SpiceJet flights. There have been at least eight reports of technical malfunctions in the last 18 days alone. Concerns for the carrier’s reliability have prompted the DGCA to issue a notice about its “poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions” which the regulator says “resulted in degradation of safety margins.”
When questioned by BBC news, the airline said it was committed to safety and that all domestic carriers have experienced such issues. “All our aircraft were audited only a month back and found to be absolutely safe,” they told reporters.
The string of equipment failures is frightening passengers away from flying with the budget carrier, with some asking the DGCA to ground them before “something worse happens”.
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