The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday said that SpiceJet would continue to remain under enhanced surveillance till October 29. The restrictions the regulator had imposed on the airline on July 27, would continue to be in force till the end of the summer schedule (October 29).
However, the DGCA in its Wednesday's order noted that the review of the airline has indicated that there has been an appreciable reduction in the number of safety incidents.
The DGCA had on July 27 cut the airline's operations by half of its departures that had been approved under the summer schedule and said that the airline would remain under the regulator's enhanced surveillance. Prior to that, the regulator had issued a show-cause notice to the airline saying that it had failed to "establish safe, efficient and reliable air services". SpiceJet had reported multiple technical malfunctioning incidents between April 1 and July 5.
The airline has to demonstrate sufficient technical support to the aviation regulator for it to be allowed to fly more than 50 percent departures.
Following DGCA's July order, SpiceJet had said it would not have any impact on its operations. "We are in receipt of the DGCA order and will act as per the directions of the regulator. Due to the current lean travel season, SpiceJet, like other airlines, had already rescheduled its flight operations. Hence, there will be absolutely no impact on our flight operations," it said.
Meanwhile, the airline has asked 80 of its pilots to go on leave for three months without pay.
The budget airline said the move is a temporary one to rationalise costs. "This measure, which is in line with SpiceJet's policy of not retrenching any employee that the airline steadfastly followed even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, will help rationalise the pilot strength vis-a-vis the aircraft fleet," the airline said in a statement.
The pilots who have been told to be on leave without pay are from the airline's Boeing and Bombardier fleet.