The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday extended its ban on 50% of SpiceJet flights till October 29, reported ANI.

The aviation regulator had first imposed an eight-week restriction on half of the SpiceJet fleet on July 27 after several of the carrier’s planes reported technical malfunction.

On Wednesday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation noted that there has been an “appreciable reduction” in the number of safety incidents, but it decided to extend the restriction “as a matter of abundant caution”.

During the restriction period, on September 1, a SpiceJet flight from Delhi to Nashik had returned midway to the national capital due to an autopilot snag.

On July 5, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation had issued a show cause notice to the airline following eight instances of technical malfunction in a period of 18 days. The regulator had asked the airline to explain the “degradation of its safety margins”.

The civil aviation regulator did not find any major safety violations during spot checks in SpiceJet aircraft, the Centre had told Parliament on July 25. Two days later, the aviation regulator ordered the airline to operate 50% of its flights for eight weeks.

SpiceJet is also struggling to make timely payments to its employees who had earlier alleged delay in disbursal of salaries. The budget airline said on Tuesday that it has sent 80 of its pilots on leave without pay for three months.