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CRASH LANDING

India’s low-budget airline SpiceJet is facing frequent mid-air glitches

REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Photo
Trouble in skies.
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SpiceJet, one of India’s largest private domestic airlines, has landed in trouble, yet again. Two of the low-cost carrier’s flights witnessed operational glitches yesterday (July 5).

Spicejet’s Delhi-Dubai flight made a landing at Karachi airport in Pakistan after the fuel indicator malfunctioned. Later in the day, another aircraft had to make a priority landing in Mumbai after its windshield cracked mid-air.

The incident related to the Dubai-bound flight has evoked a probe by India’s watchdog directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).

“On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi-Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked,” an airline spokesperson said.

Following the landing in Karachi, around 150 passengers had to wait for at least eight hours before the replacement jet arrived. The airline, however, has denied any emergency. There was no “earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft,” it said.

SpiceJet’s troubles in the Indian skies

The incidents yesterday were only the latest in a string of troubles SpiceJet has faced over the past six months. Since May 1, there have been eight air safety incidents involving the airline.

What next for SpiceJet?

These incidents put SpiceJet in a spot of bother over their safety and plane maintenance.

“If an airline is experiencing a series of incidents, just ordering probes is not going to help. These incidents point out poor aircraft maintenance which should be the regulator’s major concern. The DGCA should act strictly,” aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan told The Hindustan Times.

SpiceJet, meanwhile, faces a cash crunch and is struggling to stay afloat.

These snags could spell more trouble for the airline at a time when Akasa Air, another low-cost carrier, is preparing to launch in Indian skies. Defunct player Jet Airways is also set to make a comeback after two years.

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