India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended the cap on SpiceJet’s operating capacity till October 29. In order, the DGCA observed that the extension has been given on a review of the safety performance of SpiceJet. It said that the review has shown an appreciable reduction in the number of safety incidents, however, as a matter of abundant caution, the restriction imposed shall continue to be in force till the end of the Summer schedule on October 29.
The order said that any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 percent of the total number of departures approved under the Summer Schedule 2022, during the period, shall be subject to the airline demonstrating to the satisfaction of the DGCA that it has sufficient technical support and financial resource to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity.
On July 27, DGCA ordered the airline to operate only 50 percent of its flights for eight weeks. SpiceJet had earlier reported a net loss of Rs 789 crore (Rs 420 crore excluding forex adjustment) for the quarter ending June 30, 2022 as compared to a net loss of Rs 729 crore in the quarter ending 30 June, 2021 as business was severely impacted by record high fuel prices and a depreciating rupee.
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On Tuesday, in a temporary measure to rationalise cost, SpiceJet decided to place some pilots on leave without pay for a period of three months. The airline said that it will be inducting MAX aircraft shortly and these pilots will be back in service as the induction begins. During the LWP period, pilots will remain eligible for all other employee benefits as applicable i.e. all opted insurance benefits and employee leaves travel.
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