The aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), on Friday launched an investigation into an incident involving a low-cost carrier, SpiceJet’s Max plane, making an emergency landing at the Mumbai airport. The emergency landing took place after one of its engines encountered a technical problem. The chief of the aviation regulator, Arun Kumar, informed the PTI news agency that the plane registered as VT-MXE would remain immobilized until the regulator clears it.

In addition, the DGCA has asked the airline, aircraft manufacturer Boeing and engine manufacturer CFM to join the investigation and provide all information relating to the engine problem that occurred on Thursday.

Thursday, the 737 MAX plane of the low-cost company bound for Kolkata SG-467 had to return to its origin in Mumbai following a technical problem. The aircraft returned to origin 15 minutes after takeoff. The aircraft landed safely and no passengers were injured.

The development is gaining in importance as the 737 Max aircraft was recently returned to service after an extended ban.

The Indian government banned the 737 Max from flying in March 2019 after the crash of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, both involving a Boeing 737 Max. 346 people were killed in the two crashes that took place within five months of the plane’s unveiling.

In August of this year, the aircraft was cleared for flight again. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) had indicated in its order that more than 17 regulators had authorized the aircraft to fly again. This was after Boeing took corrective action after being grounded in several countries.

SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said in November that the LCC planned to add fifty Boeing 737 Macs to its fleet by December of this year. He added that two 737 Max jets out of the 13 planes on the ground had already started flying and four more were at Boeing’s facilities for SpiceJet. Delivery of the four Max plans was scheduled to start from December 10.

On November 16, institutional investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, backed by Akasa Air, ordered 72 Boeing 737 Max Airplanes. The deal is valued at $ 9 billion. The order includes two variants of the 737 MAX range, namely the 737-8 and the high capacity 737-8-200.

Spicejet and Akasa Air are the only Indian airlines to have integrated the 737 MAX aircraft into their fleet.

(With Outlook Business entries)