Monday, July 04, 2022

SpiceJet’s safety is not the only problem, it’s cancellations and complaints are high too

On July 2, a SpiceJet flight made an emergency landing in Delhi airport after smoke was discovered in the cabin as it was flying at an altitude of 5,000 feet. Yet, all its passengers were safe.

“A SpiceJet aircraft operating from Delhi to Jabalpur returned safely to the Delhi airport today morning after the crew noticed smoke in the cabin while passing 5000ft; passengers safely disembarked,” a Spicejet spokesperson said.

A lot of SpiceJet passengers have been safe across five such incidents that happened in the last three months. But the turbulent times that passengers faced, might keep them away from the third largest airline in the country. It has around 13% market share in the aviation sector, in terms of passengers carried.

And, it’s not just safety either. In the month of May, SpiceJet came in second in terms of flight cancellations, according to a report by regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The notorious top spot is occupied by Gurugram-based Fly Big airline.

SpiceJet also topped the list of airlines whose services are the most unsatisfactory, followed by Indigo, according to a recent LocalCircles survey. Airlines in general have been cutting corners and compromising on passenger comfort – said 79% of the Indian passengers polled.

“On an aggregate basis, flight delays, inflight services, boarding and check-in procedures, baggage handling and timely information sharing among top issues Indian passengers face, with airlines,” said the LocalCircles report.

And, 41% of the respondents said ‘flight delays’ as the foremost unsatisfactory factor, followed by poor aircraft interiors including seat, entertainment system for 28% of them.

According to the traffic data of Domestic Airlines for the month of May 2022 released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), around 550 passenger complaints were registered against domestic airlines, out of which 0.8 per 10,000 passengers were against Spicejet.

The frequency of ‘safety incidents’ of SpiceJet have also become another cause for concern. Two incidents were reported on June 19 — a Delhi-bound flight carrying over 185 passengers caught fire soon after take off from Patna airport and had to make an emergency landing. The airline clarified that a bird hit had damaged their fan blades.

04/07/22 Vaamanaa Sethi/Business Insider

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