• Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

Delhi High Court rejects request to halt airline’s services to India

ByKimberly A. Brochu

Jul 18, 2022

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition to stop the services of SpiceJet in India, given the recent technical malfunctions of its aircraft, Live Act reported.

A divisional bench consisting of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that the court cannot prevent an airline from operating based on allegations made in public interest litigation. The petition was proposed by lawyer Rahul Bhardwaj.

At least nine incidents of technical malfunction have been reported on SpiceJet aircraft in the past 30 days.

On July 6, the general directorate of civil aviation sent a formal notice to the airline asking for its explanations on the “degradation of its safety margins”.

In the notice, the civil aviation authority specifies that since April 1, several SpiceJet planes have had to return to their airport of origin or land at their destination with degraded safety margins.

At Monday’s hearing, Bhardwaj said passengers’ lives were in danger due to malfunctions in the SpiceJet planes. He also alleged that there was no proper management by the airline.

“It’s not our domain,” the bench noted, according to Live Act. “It’s for expert bodies like the Indian government. Prayer can be anything. You can also ask for the moon. But we must grant relief that remains within the legal framework.

He also said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation is the appropriate body to investigate all these incidents.

Malfunctions in SpiceJet planes

On July 12, a Dubai-Madurai SpiceJet flight was delayed after the plane’s nose wheel malfunctioned.

On July 6, a SpiceJet cargo plane bound for Chongqing in China returned to Kolkata after takeoff. The pilots noticed that the aircraft’s weather radar was not working.

On July 5, a Delhi-Dubai SpiceJet flight had to make an emergency landing in Karachi after its fuel gauge malfunctioned. The flight had more than 150 passengers on board. No one was hurt.

Hours later, another SpiceJet plane flying from Kandla in Gujarat to Mumbai made a priority landing in the capital of Maharashtra after the outer glass of the plane’s windshield cracked.

On July 2, a Delhi-Jabalpur SpiceJet flight returned to the nation’s capital after crew members saw smoke in the cabin at a height of 5,000ft. On June 19, an engine on a Patna-Delhi flight caught fire after a bird hit it, causing it to return to Patna.

Fuselage door warnings illuminated on two separate SpiceJet planes during takeoff on June 24 and 25, forcing them to return to their home airports, PTI reported on Wednesday.