The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued a showcause notice to SpiceJet seeking the airline company’s explanation on the “degradation of its safety margins”, ANI reported on Wednesday.

The notice dated July 5 was shared on social media on Wednesday soon after a SpiceJet freighter aircraft bound for Chongqing in China returned to Kolkata after take-off. The pilots noticed that the weather radar of the plane was not working, PTI reported.

This is at least the eighth instance of technical malfunction on a SpiceJet aircraft in the last 18 days.

In its showcause notice, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that since April 1, several SpiceJet aircraft have had to return to their originating airport or land at the destination with degraded safety margins.

In a tweet about the notice, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia wrote: “Passenger safety is paramount. Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated & course-corrected.”

“...The review transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions [as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system related failure] has resulted in degradation of the safety margins,” the notice stated.

The private carrier has been asked to respond to the notice within three weeks.

Recent malfunction in SpiceJet planes

On Tuesday, a Delhi to Dubai SpiceJet flight had to make an emergency landing in Karachi after its fuel indicator malfunctioned. The flight had over 150 passengers on board. All of them are safe.

Hours later, another SpiceJet plane flying from Kandla in Gujarat to Mumbai made a priority landing in the Maharashtra capital after the outer pane of the windshield of the aircraft cracked.

On July 2, a Delhi-Jabalpur SpiceJet flight returned to the national capital after crew members saw smoke in the cabin at a height of 5,000 feet. On June 19, an engine on a Patna-Delhi flight caught fire after a bird hit, causing it to return to Patna.

Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate SpiceJet planes while taking off on June 24 and June 25, forcing them to return to their originating airports, PTI reported on Wednesday.