SpiceJet said its freighter aircraft, which was heading to Chongqing in China, returned to Kolkata on Tuesday as the pilots realised after take-off that its weather radar was not working.
This is at least the eighth incident of technical malfunction happening on a SpiceJet aircraft in the last 18 days.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet after eight malfunction incidents. The DGCA said that SpiceJet has failed to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services under Aircraft Rules, 1937.
Following the notice, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said, "Passenger safety is paramount."
"On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet Boeing 737 freighter was scheduled to operate from Kolkata to Chongqing. After take-off, the weather radar was not showing the weather. The PIC (pilot-in-command) decided to return to Kolkata. The aircraft landed safely at Kolkata," SpiceJet spokesperson told PTI on Wednesday.
On July 5 itself, the airline's Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning fuel indicator and its Kandla-Mumbai flight did priority landing in Maharashtra's capital city after cracks developed on its windshield mid-air.
On July 2, a SpiceJet flight heading to Jabalpur returned to Delhi after the crew members observed smoke in the cabin at around 5,000 feet altitude.
Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate SpiceJet planes while taking off on June 24 and June 25, forcing them to abandon their journeys and return.
On June 19, an engine on the carrier's Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after the take-off from Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later.
The engine malfunctioned because of a bird hit.
In another incident on June 19, a SpiceJet flight for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues.
The airline has been making losses for the last three years. The carrier incurred a net loss of Rs 316 crore, Rs 934 crore and Rs 998 crore in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, respectively.
(with TI inputs)