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Aviation Watchdog to lift 50% cap on SpiceJet flights

SpiceJet was allowed to operate more than 50% of its flights. (Queue)

New Delhi:

SpiceJet will be able to operate more than 50% of its flights from October 30 as the three-month restrictions on the beleaguered airline will be lifted in the winter schedule.

Following multiple incidents involving SpiceJet’s plane, aviation watchdog the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) on July 27 capped the number of flights the no-frills carrier could operate at 50%. Later, the restrictions were extended until October 29, also the last day of the summer schedule.

Now, in the winter schedule from October 30, the airline will operate 3,193 flights per week. It is also 6.6% more than the number of weekly flights operated by the airline during the previous winter schedule.

Since October 30, SpiceJet has been authorized to operate more than 50% of its flights. The 50% restriction in the number of flights coincided with the summer timetable which ends on October 29, the head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Arun Kumar, told PTI on Saturday.

Regarding the airline’s operations, the DGCA chief said that every precaution was being taken and “we will make sure things are kept well under control”.

There was no comment from SpiceJet on the lifting of the restrictions.

In recent times, the airline has faced multiple operational and financial headwinds. On October 17, the regulator ordered the carrier to carry out engine oil sample analysis of its Q400 fleet and other inspections, days after one of its planes made an emergency landing at Hyderabad airport due to smoke in the cabin.

The incident happened on October 12 as the SpiceJet plane was flying from Goa.

In the winter schedule – from October 30, 2022 to March 25, 2023 – scheduled airlines will operate 21,941 flights on domestic routes each week. The number of weekly flights will be 1.55% lower than the 22,287 flights operated during the previous winter timetable.

In the upcoming winter 2022 schedule, 21,941 departures per week have been approved from 105 airports.

“Of these 105 airports, Deoghar, Shimla and Rourkela are the new airports offered by scheduled airlines,” the DGCA said in a statement on Friday.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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