On Wednesday, the DGCA was reported to have barred as many as 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying the Boeing 737 Max planes. The aviation safety regulator has barred the SpiceJet pilots from flying the airplane after finding their training profiles unsuitable.

The pilots will now be undergoing a re-training to meet the standards set by the DGCA. A senior official in the aviation safety regulator involved in the matter said that the pilots will be retrained and further claimed that “strict action” will be taken against those due to which the lapse was caused.

Following the announcement, SpiceJet spokesperson issued a statement regarding the matter which read – “SpiceJet has 650 pilots trained on Boeing 737 Max. DGCA had an observation on the training profile followed for 90 Pilots, and therefore as per the advise of DGCA, SpiceJet has restricted 90 pilots from operating Max aircraft, until these pilots undergo re-training to the satisfaction of DGCA.”

It should be noted that SpiceJet is India’s only airline that currently operates the highly controversial Boeing 737 Max. The airplane was grounded by India along with several other countries after two deadly crashes resulted in cumulative death toll of 346 persons.

The Facts of the Matter

The Boeing 737 Max is once again in the news. Not for any new accidents or newly-found faults in the plane’s making, but India’s aviation authority barring 90 pilots from flying them. The DGCA on Wednesday announced 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating the Boeing 737 Max planes as the pilots have been found to not be properly trained.

Also Read: Chinese Boeing 737 With 133 People On Board Crashes in China Mountains, No Word on Survivors

Pilots Will Undergo Retraining

On Wednesday, the DGCA chief Arun Kumar issued a statement regarding the matter which read – “For the moment, we have barred these pilots from flying the Max and they have to retrain successfully for flying the aircraft,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar said in a statement. Mr. Kumar also said that those found responsible for lapse will have “strict action” taken against them.

The 90 pilots will now undergo simulator training again in a proper manner to be in contention to operate the Max airplane.

SpiceJet Has 650 Pilots Trained on Boeing 737 Max

Following the DGCA announcement, low-cost carrier SpiceJet issued a statement wherein it stated that the airline has as many as 650 pilots trained on the Boeing 737 Max. The statement further noted that on the “advice of DGCA”, the company has decided to restrict 90 pilots from operating the aircraft until the pilots undergo a re-training to the satisfaction of the aviation regulator.

“Of the 650 trained pilots on the Max, 560 continue to remain available, which is much more than the current requirement,” the statement by SpiceJet spokesperson further read.

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SpiceJet Operates 11 Boeing 737 Max, Akasa Ordered 72 More Boeing 737 Maxs

It should be noted that SpiceJet operates 11 Boeing 737 Max airplanes and it needs as many as 144 pilots to operate those planes. Further, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala backed Akasa Air, which is going to led by aviation veterans Aditya Ghosh (former President of IndiGo) and Vinay Dube (former CEO of Jet Airways), will also use the Boeing 737. Earlier last year, Akasa Air signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 72 Max airplanes.

Also Read: Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Akasa Air Orders Seventy-Two Boeing 737 MAX for Whopping $9 Billion

The Turbulent Journey of Boeing 737 Max So Far

It should be noted that the Boeing 737 MAX airplanes have had a turbulent run so far. The most modern jetliner was grounded back in 2019 following two major crashes that led to the deaths of 346 persons in total.

During the investigation of the two crashes, it was revealed that the airplane’s faulty MCAS (maneuvering characteristics augmentation system) were responsible for the crashes. Following the two crashes, the US aviation regulators grounded the airplanes. India too followed the suit and the ban on Boeing 737 was lifted earlier in 2021.


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