Aviation Regulator Acts Tough Against Troubled SpiceJet: Report

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New Delhi: Concerned over the deteriorating
condition of SpiceJet and large-scale flight cancellations,
aviation regulator DGCA on Friday withdrew 186 of its slots and
asked it to clear salary dues of all its employees in the next
ten days.

After reviewing the situation facing the no-frill carrier, DGCA
chief Prabhat Kumar took a series of decisions, including
asking the airline to file a “convincing schedule” by December
15 to clear its over Rs 1,500 crore dues to various vendors
including airports and oil companies, official sources said.

The DGCA also directed the airline not to take bookings of
flights over one month and refund the booking amount to the
customers of cancelled flights in 30 days, they said.

As many as 93 arrival and 93 departure slots were withdrawn by
DGCA as the low-cost carrier was operating 232 flights in
October, instead of 339 in September, the sources said.

The regulator would now on also carry out “heightened”
surveillance of all SpiceJet flights on landing to ensure that
safety is not compromised due to its financial troubles, they
said.

The measures came a day after Civil Aviation Minister Ashok
Gajapathi Raju said troubled SpiceJet was seeming to “give us
heart attacks”.

“We are running through a lot of turbulent weather…not only
the public sector, private sector is also crashing. (With)
Kingfisher crashing and, right now, SpiceJet seems to be giving
us heart attacks as far as airlines are concerned,” Mr Raju had
said.

Asking the airline to clear salary dues of all its staffers by
December 15, the regulator directed it to disburse the salaries
now on by the 7th of every month.

With over 125 pilots quitting the airline in the recent past,
the aviation regulator asked SpiceJet…

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