SpiceJet told not to make booking beyond 15 days

DGCA is considering a move to “restrain” Spicejet from taking fresh bookings

New Delhi: In view of the cancellation of some its flights recently, aviation regulator DGCA is strongly considering a move to “restrain” Spicejet from taking fresh bookings from passengers beyond 15 days and a final decision on this is expected to be taken within a couple of days, top government sources have said. The low cost carrier is expected to furnish information to the DGCA on Wednesday after the aviation regulator wanted to know how many flights the airline was cancelling every day, what arrangements have been made for passengers, whether passengers are promptly receiving full refunds and the future plans of the airline.

In view of these developments, there could be more trouble ahead for the cash-strapped carrier. “There is a strong possibility that SpiceJet could be restrained from accepting fresh bookings from passengers beyond 15 days. It all depends on how satisfactory the DGCA finds SpiceJet’s ex-planation. A final decision will be taken very soon on the matter,” sources said.

“Passengers cannot be inconvenienced like this. Those who booked well in advance may probably ha-ve to pay sky-high spot fares to other airlines in case of sudden flight cancellations by SpiceJet if they have to travel urgently. This is certainly not acceptable,” sources said.SpiceJet had recently admitted that it has cancelled some of its flights across the country and had said this was because of “fleet restructuring” and not because of any financial stress.

The airline had also said it “was not going the Kingfisher way” and indicated that talks to get an investor on board for “recapitalisation” were underway. The airline said it has reduced the number of its flights since it would not be able to do this once an investor is on board for recapitalisation.

But government sources said there seemed to be no sign as yet of the airline getting any big investor on board and felt the airline could be heading for deep trouble financially if it does not soon get an investor on board who can pump in at least Rs 1000 crore for recapitalisation of the airline. According to recent reports, the airline had suffered a loss of '310 crore in the second quarter of the current financial year.

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