Troubled SpiceJet punished for cancellations

India’s SpiceJet has had 186 of its flight slots withdrawn as punishment for a series of cancellations.

The country’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) took the measures after SpiceJet moved to downsize its fleet in an effort to cut costs. The loss-making low-cost carrier has started returning several aircraft to their leasing companies.

Bombardier operates a fleet of Boeing and Bombardier aircraft
Bombardier operates a fleet of Boeing and Bombardier aircraft

Meanwhile, the DGCA has also told SpiceJet to reduce its booking windows to just one month in advance of departure, in an effort to reduce risk to passengers.

The DGCA said that airline’s slots had been withdrawn because it had been “booking tickets for cancelled flights.” It has also demanded that SpiceJet submit operational reports every month.

The Delhi-based airline’s chief operating officer, Sanjiv Kapoor, told the Economic Times that the cancellations were “a serious concern”, and said SpiceJet is cooperating with the DGCA.

“Some slots were withdrawn because we told them we will be operating a smaller fleet. We are taking action on things to do and the regulator is doing its job,” Kapoor told the newspaper.

Last month, SpiceJet reported its fifth straight quarterly loss and has now embarked on a restructuring plan.

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