The budget Indian carrier SpiceJet has started offering the country’s cheapest RT-PCR COVID-19 test. It is offering the test to its passengers at a cost of just Rs 299 — that’s one-third of the current price of an RT-PCR test available in the market. Flyers of other airlines can get the test conducted at Rs 499.
SpiceJet is offering the service in association with Spice Health, a healthcare company founded by the promoters of the low-cost carrier. The company has been conducting RT-PCR tests since November 2020, and has since collected more than 11.50 lakh samples.
Flyers can avail the service by visiting any of the collection centres run by SpiceHealth. Alternately, the company is also offering home collection services. The special price and home collection facilities will initially only be available in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai.
With the aviation sector receiving some of the biggest blows from the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian airlines are experiencing better recovery than their global peers, thanks to the strong domestic demand. The no-frills carrier SpiceJet is India’s second-largest carrier, and the testing facility offered by it is expected to help the company attract flyers back to its planes.
The company reported its third-quarter results last month. Its consolidated net loss stood at Rs 66.77 crore during the quarter ended December 31, 2020, as compared to a net profit of Rs 78.16 crore in the year-ago period. However, the losses declined by over 38 percent from Rs 108.53 crore in the quarter ended September 30, 2020 on a sequential basis.
Passenger revenue grew by 73 percent quarter-on-quarter, while revenue from cargo increased by 36 percent quarter-on-quarter, highlighting the emergence of green shoots in the aviation industry.
How to register for SpiceJet’s RT-PCR test
To book an RT-PCR test at the discounted price, one needs to book an appointment on SpiceHealth. In the form, users will have to fill in their SpiceJet PNR to reduce the price from standard Rs 499 to Rs 299. They can also visit any of the SpiceHealth test centres near them. Each PNR can be used only once to avail the discounted price. Also, passengers can get the test done before the travel date or up to 30 days after the flight date.