Why there could be more trouble for budget carrier SpiceJet

resr 5paisa Research Team

Last Updated: 14th December 2022 - 12:26 pm

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Last week, Spicejet claimed that it had passed an audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Now, according to a report by The Times of India, the ICAO has clarified that it has not audited any airline in the country.

The ICAO website states that it never audits any airline or airport in any country, the report says

What exactly has the organization said?

“As part of an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM), ICAO teams conduct industry visits to verify the effectiveness of the civil aviation authority’s safety oversight. This will include visits to multiple operators. ICAO wishes to clarify that visits to these operators are not an audit or inspection at all,” said ICAO in a statement.

“ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) team performed an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) to India from 9 to 16 November 2022. The objective of an ICVM is to validate progress in addressing the findings from previous USOAP activities,” the organization’s representative William Raillant-Clark said in a Tweet.

 “As part of an ICVM, ICAO teams conduct industry visits to verify the effectiveness of the civil aviation authority’s safety oversight. This will include visits to multiple operators. ICAO wishes to clarify that visits to operators are not audits or inspections at all,” he said in a subsequent Tweet. 

What does the ICAO do?

ICAO is a specialised agency of the United Nations to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation around the world.

“Operator’’ in this context refers to SpiceJet, the only airline the ICAO team visited when in India from November 9 to 16. What ICAO did was verify the effectiveness of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) safety oversight and in that context it visited SpiceJet office on November 14, said TOI.

What has SpiceJet actually said?

In a stock exchange filing on December 5, SpiceJet claimed that its operations, safety processes and systems have been found to be in order following an exhaustive audit conducted by the ICAO.

It further claimed that it was the only scheduled Indian airline part of the audit conducted by ICAO under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach. The audit of SpiceJet safety systems helped India achieve its highest ever safety ranking in ICAO audit, it said.

"The ICAO audit is the benchmark of safety. We are proud that our safety culture, systems, processes and operations have been found to be in order and at par with the global best practices and safety standards," said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet.

Does this add further to the airline’s litany of woes?

SpiceJet had been going through a highly turbulent phase in recent times on account of several glitches and a non-adherence to mandated guidelines in regard to the training of some pilots.

It all started in April 2022 when the aviation watchdog the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) restrained 90 pilots of the airline from operating Boeing 737 Max aircraft, after finding they were not properly trained. That was followed by multiple snags in its aircraft.

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