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Spicejet operates Boeing 737-Max after DGCA’s grounding order

Spicejet operated at least five routes using Boeing 737-MAX aircraft even after the DGCA’s immediate grounding order

Spicejet operated at least five routes using Boeing 737-MAX aircraft even after the DGCA’s immediate grounding order   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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Spicejet, which had claimed to have suspended operations using the Boeing 737-Max, announces that it now expected to complete the exercise by 4 p.m.

Despite aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announcing an immediate grounding of the Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, Spicejet operated atleast five routes using this aircraft on Wednesday morning.

India had late on Tuesday night grounded the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft by the country's airline companies following a deadly crash in Ethiopia involving the aircraft.

Spicejet, which had claimed to have suspended operations using the Boeing 737-Max, announced on Wednesday that it now expected to complete the exercise by 4 p.m.

In a statement, the airline said, “Consequent to the regulatory directive on the Boeing 737 MAX, SpiceJet has already initiated grounding of its MAX fleet. In order to cause least inconvenience to its passengers and also bring these aircraft to its maintenance base we expect to complete this exercise on or before 4 p.m. today."

SpiceJet said that it has presently announced cancellation of 14 flights for today (March 13) and will be operating additional flights from Thursday (March 14). “Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operations and we are confident of minimizing the inconvenience to our passengers and attain normalcy in our operations," the airline spokesperson said.

The airline informed that passengers affected as a result of these cancellations have been accommodated on alternate flights, while the rest have been offered a full-refund.

Flights that Spicejet operated using the Boeing 737-Max were Hong Kong-Delhi, Dubai-Kochi, Guwahati-Chennai, Varanasi-Ahmedabad, Varanasi-Bengaluru and Varanasi-Chennai.

The airline and DGCA, however, received lot of flak on social media for violating and not following order of an immediate grounding.

Capt Amit Singh, former head of air safety and operations with a leading carrier, said, "If a decision has been taken to ground this type of aircraft in interest of passenger safety, then why allow it to fly till 4 p.m.? These are regular commercial flights, not flights to position aircraft for parking."

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:41:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/spicejet-operates-boeing-737-max-after-dgcas-grounding-order/article26519752.ece

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