New Delhi/Karachi- SpiceJet’s Delhi-Dubai flight was on Tuesday diverted to Karachi as the fuel indicator started malfunctioning, officials of the aviation regulator DGCA said.
This is at least the sixth incident of technical malfunction happening on SpiceJet aircraft in the last 17 days.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating the Tuesday’s incident, along with the previous five incidents, the officials noted.
The Boeing 737 Max aircraft — which was heading from Delhi to Dubai — started showing unusual fuel quantity reduction from its left tank when it was mid-air, they said.
Therefore, the plane was diverted to Karachi, they noted.
When an inspection was done at the Karachi airport, no visual leak was observed from the left tank, they added.
An official of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) confirmed that the SpiceJet aircraft has made an emergency landing at the Karachi airport after developing a technical fault after it left New Delhi for Dubai.
The pilot of flight no SG 11 contacted the control tower while flying over Pakistan airspace and said the aircraft had developed some technical fault. He requested an emergency landing. He was given permission to land on humanitarian grounds, the PCAA official confirmed.
He said there were around 100 passengers on the flight.
In a statement on Tuesday, SpiceJet earlier said, On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi-Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked.”
“No emergency was declared and the aircraft made a normal landing. There was no earlier report of any malfunction with the aircraft,” it mentioned.
Passengers have been served refreshments, it said, adding that a replacement aircraft is being sent to Karachi that will take the passengers to Dubai.
In March 2021, a Lucknow-bound IndiGo flight from Sharjah was also diverted to Karachi airport due to a medical emergency on board.
Since June 19, there have been six incidents on SpiceJet planes.
On June 19, an engine on SpiceJet’s Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after taking off from the 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 flight for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues.
Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate planes while taking off on June 24 and June 25, forcing them to abandon their journeys and return.
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.
Notably, SpiceJet has been making losses for the last three years.
The budget 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 COVID-19 pandemic petering out, aviation consultancy firm CAPA had on June 29 stated that Indian carriers’ losses are expected to moderate from around USD 3 billion in 2021-22 to USD 1.4-1.7 billion in 2022-23.
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