Jet Airways has asked the aviation regulator DGCA to direct SpiceJet to remove its livery from the budget carrier’s aircraft as it misleads the public about the identity of the operator and is also a safety hazard. Each airline has its livery — a specific paint scheme comprising a logo that is applied on aircraft.
In a letter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on June 21, Jet Airways stated, “After the stoppage of our operations in 2019, several aircraft were returned to the lessors and then leased out to some Indian operators such as SpiceJet.”
Many of these airplanes continue to fly in full Jet Airways’ colours on the fuselage and tail with Jet Airways’ name blanked off and overwritten by decals (a vinyl wrap), it added. “Also, the Jet Airways logo on the tail has been painted over, but is still discernible if one looks carefully,” it mentioned.
The letter also noted that some of these aircraft have been involved in accidents or incidents, the photographs of which have been widely circulated in media.
One such example is the runway excursion of a SpiceJet B737 aircraft in Mumbai in 2019 where Jet Airways’ colour scheme and part of the logo is prominently visible in the photos still available on the internet, it mentioned.
Jet Airways received its renewed air operator certificate (AOC) from DGCA on May 20 this year and it is planning to start commercial flight operations in September.
SpiceJet has 90-odd planes in its fleet. Some of the B737 aircraft it has been with Jet Airways before the latter went bankrupt in 2019.
Airline liveries are fundamental statements of branding and corporate identity and all operators endeavour to make theirs as distinctive and readily recognisable as possible, Jet Airways stated in its letter.
Therefore, it is evident that an operator flying its aircraft in another airline’s livery has a serious potential to mislead the public about the identity of the operator, something which cannot be taken lightly, it mentioned.
“This is also a safety hazard as it can confuse ground staff and crew operating other aircraft about the identity of the aircraft in question, for example when following ATC (air traffic controller) directions,” it stated.
This problem becomes even more egregious when such aircraft are involved in undesirable situations like accidents, incidents, or interception in foreign airspace, it mentioned.
“May we request your office to issue necessary directions to all operators to use only their authorised livery as filed with the DGCA compulsorily, and to remove all vestiges of other airline liveries from their aircraft. As we plan to begin operations in September and expect to have aircraft in our livery delivered to us in July this year, an early action from your good office to ensure all such unauthorised liveries are removed by July would be highly appreciated.”Jet Airways
Commenting on the matter, a SpiceJet spokesperson told PTI in a statement, “We have not received any communication from the DGCA. The older planes are being phased out and many have already left the fleet. They are being replaced by the 737MAX.”
Jet Airways, in its old avatar, was owned by Naresh Goyal and had operated its last flight on April 17, 2019. The Jalan-Kalrock Consortium is currently the promoter of Jet Airways.
Airbus is the favourite to win a USD 5.5 billion order from Jet Airways for A320 and A220 aircraft. The airline is in talks with plane manufacturers, and a spokesperson said final negotiations were on with lessors and plane manufacturers for its fleet.