Fight between fliers, staff breaks out as SpiceJet flight from Ahmedabad to Varanasi suffers 8-hour delay

On 6 July, the DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19.

The situation came under control after the intervention of security personnel and senior airport officials. (screengrab of the video of the fight)

A Spicejet Ahmedabad-Varanasi flight suffered a delay of eight hours, which led to a scuffle that broke out between passengers and airport staff, resulting in a fight at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.

The situation came under control after the intervention of security personnel and senior airport officials.

Some passengers, waiting for their flight to depart, poured into social media to express their displeasure over the delay. The SpiceJet flight SG0354 which was scheduled to depart at 10.30 am, was rescheduled after 3 pm.

The flight was delayed due to a ‘Network Issue’, news agency ANI reported, quoting Directorate General of Civil Aviation sources, adding that the main runway of the airport was closed for maintenance between 11 am to 3 pm so a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) was issued to pilots.

However, the flight was delayed further by nearly three more hours due to a network issue (congestion at the airport), it was reported.

On 6 July, the DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19. The aviation regulator said the budget carrier had “failed” to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services.

On 11 July, the Boeing B737 Max aircraft with registration number VT-SZK operated the Mangaluru-Dubai flight, DGCA had officials noted. After the aircraft landed, an engineer did a walk around inspection and found the nose wheel strut was compressed more than usual, they said.

The engineer therefore decided to ground the aircraft, the officials had noted.

The airline sent another aircraft from Mumbai to Dubai to operate the return Dubai-Madurai flight, they stated.

Asked about the matter, a SpiceJet spokesperson said, “On July 11, 2022, SpiceJet flight SG23 operating from Dubai to Madurai was delayed due to a last minute technical issue. Alternate aircraft was arranged immediately which brought passengers back to India.”

“Flight delays can happen with any airline. There has been no incident or a safety scare on this flight,” the spokesperson added.

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