Boeing ban has many flyers stranded at IGIA

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SpiceJet has 12 such aircraft in its fleet and Jet Airways has five, which have already been grounded.

All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft being operated by airlines in India have been grounded, Civil Aviation Secretary PS Kharola said on Wednesday (March 13).Thursday will (March 14) be a “challenging” day, he told reporters.Lifting the ban on the aircraft will be based on inputs from various agencies and it will not happen soon, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief BS Bhullar said.The DGCA announced its decision to ground the aircraft on Tuesday (March 12) night.

Among the airlines affected was a low-budget carrier, Spice-Jet which cancelled 14 flights for Wednesday after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an order to ground all Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft banning them from the Indian airspace from 4pm. Soon after the DGCA order, SpiceJet, which has 12 planes of the fleet in its legion, claimed it has suspended them all.

The ministry of civil aviation had on Tuesday announced that DGCA had taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. With this announcement, India joined the global suspension wave of Boeing 737-8 MAX planes, after an aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people.

“The airline companies should have made alternate arrangements in advance. Refunding is not a solution. I had to make an alternate arrangement at the last moment,” said Sameer Tankha, a Delhi resident, who returned from Kochi in Jet Airways after SpiceJet flight was cancelled. SpiceJet had 12 such aircraft in its fleet. Jet Airways has five, which have been grounded already.

Officials said 35-40 SpiceJet flights will remain affected on Thursday(March 14) as well. Majority of passengers with bookings in SpiceJet were accommodated on other flights, while others are offered full refund, a statement by the carrier said.

SpiceJet has presently announced cancellation of 14 flights for today (Wednesday) and will be operating additional flights from tomorrow (Thursday). 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.

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