On a tough day for SpiceJet, two of its aircraft were forced to make priority landings after they developed technical glitches on Tuesday, July 5. Including the two new ones, as many as seven such incidents have happened on SpiceJet flights in the last 17 days.
According to sources, this is the seventh safety-related concern in SpiceJet in less than three weeks. The other incidents, all of which have been brought to the attention of the regulator, include two-door warnings, a bird hit, oil leakage from an engine, and a pressurisation problem in addition to yesterday’s malfunction.
“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 in Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked. No emergency was declared and the aircraft made a normal landing. There was no earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft. Passengers have been served refreshments,” said a SpiceJet official.
On that same day, another SpiceJet flight, flying from Kandla in Gujarat, cracked mid-air after which the plane made a priority landing in Mumbai. Officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight of SpiceJet was at 23,000 feet altitude when the windshield’s outer pane cracked.
This is the sixth such incident for the airline in the last three months. Just a few days back, on July 2, a Jabalpur-bound SpiceJet flight made an emergency landing in Delhi airport after smoke was discovered in the cabin as it was flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet. Yet, all its passengers were safe.
The frequency of ‘safety incidents’ of SpiceJet has become a cause for concern. Two incidents were reported on June 19 alone — a Delhi-bound flight carrying over 185 passengers caught fire soon after take-off from Patna airport and had to make an emergency landing. The airline clarified that a bird hit had damaged their fan blades.
On June 24, the fuselage warning light on a SpiceJet Q400 aircraft (Guwahati-Kolkata) lit up when it was on ‘rotation’, forcing them to abandon their journeys and return. The pilots of the flight found that the warning was coming from the baggage door at the rear end of the plane.
A similar incident happened with SpiceJet on its Q400 aircraft which was operating its Patna-Guwahati flight.
The aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted a fleet-wide safety audit of SpiceJet aircraft just last month and continues to carry out inspections on a case-by-case basis.