Boeing 737 MAX: Spicejet suspends 14 flights, offers refunds

India’s most aggressive low-cost carrier, Spicejet, said it has cancelled 14 flights today due to the grounding of multiple Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The grounding is the result of a regulatory directive, which was prompted by an accident with an Ethiopian Airlines plane last week, the second Boeing 737 MAX to fall out of the sky for unknown reasons.

Aviation regulators across the world, including most European countries, have issued directions to their airlines to ground these aircraft and conduct inspections and audits.

The only exception is the US Federal Aviation Administration, which has not issued such directions. As such, US airlines continue to use the aircraft for domestic flights.

Spicejet said it will offer alternate flights for affected passengers. In cases where this is not possible, said the airline, it will offer a full refund.

“SpiceJet has presently announced cancellation of 14 flights for today and will be operating additional flights from tomorrow.

“Of the 76 planes in our fleet, 64 aircraft are in operations and we are confident of minimizing the inconvenience to our passengers and attain normalcy in our operations.

“While a majority of passengers affected as a result of these cancellations have been accommodated by SpiceJet on alternate flights, rest have been offered a full-refund.

“Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we are closely working with the regulator and manufacturer to resolve the matter,” it added.

The airline said the aircraft are being moved to its maintenance base.

“We expect to complete this exercise on or before 4 pm today,” it added.