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8 Incidents In 10 Weeks: What’s Happening With SpiceJet?

SimpleFlying logo SimpleFlying 7/6/2022 Gaurav Joshi
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India’s budget carrier SpiceJet is facing quite a bit of turbulence these days, hitting the headlines every other week for all kinds of aircraft-related incidents. For quite some time now, the carrier has been struggling with a string of issues – from court cases and financial troubles to aircraft scrutiny and incidents. Here’s a look at some of the more recent ones.

Difficult times

SpiceJet has seen better days! One doesn’t even have to go that far back to dig out a time period when the airline was doing fairly well. In 2019, around the time when Jet Airways went bust, SpiceJet was in a robust expansion mode, where demand was so high that it absorbed many of Jet’s 737s to keep up with passenger numbers.

The airline's turboprops have been involved in a number of incidents lately. Photo: Getty Images

Three years and a pandemic later, the story couldn’t be more different. In the last year alone, the airline has been involved in a number of court cases, mostly money-related disputes with aerospace companies, its aircraft have been under scrutiny for scrubby interiors and sub-par maintenance, and in the last two months alone, several of its flights have had to turn back due to mid-air glitches.

July 5th was a particularly bad day for the airline, with three of its flights facing problems mid-flight, putting its operations under intense scrutiny.

8 Incidents In 10 Weeks

As we list the incidents below, we’re excluding the carrier’s bird-hit flight in Patna, as that is something outside the control of the airline. If anything, the captain of that particular SpiceJet flight was actually praised for the way she handled the emergency, landing a fully loaded plane safely on Patna’s short runway.

May 1st – SpiceJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft heading from Mumbai to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence on its final approach. While several other aircraft avoided the storm, SpiceJet flew into it, injuring several passengers. According to sources, a preliminary investigation has found that manual and faulty radar was the reason behind the incident.

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June 19th – the carrier's Dash 8 Q400 aircraft bound for Jabalpur returned to Delhi due to cabin pressure failure. The pilots observed that the cabin pressure differential was not building along with the rise in altitude and had not developed even after the aircraft was leveled off at 6,000 feet.

June 24th – The carrier’s turboprop had to return to Guwahati after a fuselage warning light illuminated.

June 25th – Similar incident occurred on another one of its Dash 8 Q400, but this time during the take-off roll, which was eventually aborted.

July 2nd – SpiceJet’s Delhi-Jabalpur service was interrupted when smoke was detected inside its Dash 8 Q400 airplane, which was forced to turn back to Delhi.

July 5th – A Dubai-bound SpiceJet Boeing 737 MAZ 8 plane diverts to Karachi airport in Pakistan after a fuel indication warning suggests low fuel in one of the tanks.

July 5th – a Q400 turboprop aircraft flying from Kandla in Gujarat, made a priority landing in Mumbai after its outer windshield developed a crack mid-air.

July 5th – SpiceJet's Boeing 737 freighter operating from Kolkata to Chongqing in China returned when pilots realized after take-off that its weather radar was not working.

Struggling

The airline finds itself in a sticky spot with multiple incidents in quick successions. Its public perception seems to have taken a hit with shares falling over 2% amid all the negative media reports.

The DGCA has its hands full with so many incidents to investigate from a single airline. We’ll have to wait and see what corrective measures it suggests for SpiceJet to iron out its issues.

What are your views on SpiceJet’s current struggles? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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