Because of the rising number of coronavirus cases, Indian budget airline SpiceJet has announced it will give full ticket refunds to passengers who test positive for the virus 72 hours before their flight.
SpiceJet is also providing its passengers with the cheapest RT-PCR tests available in India - as low as $4 (Rs 299).
Extending our presence far and wide to serve you better! Avoid the hassle of getting an RT-PCR test at the airport. Pre-book a test with @spice_health at just ₹299 for SpiceJet customers and ₹499 if you are flying with another airline or not flying. https://t.co/SV9yAXLAeW pic.twitter.com/yyDl1mUdjS— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) March 23, 2021
The airline's promise of a refund comes as it has been hit by large losses because of the pandemic.
SpiceJet clocked an overall loss of around $7.8 million (INR 569.6 million) between October and December 2020.
According to the monthly traffic report by India’s aviation regulator - the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) - refund-related issues continue to make for a significant chunk of passenger complaints in the three months of 2021 .
Several passengers who missed their flights because of the lockdown last year are still waiting for their refund from several Indian airlines, The Hindustan Times reported in March this year.
The Supreme Court of India directed airlines to refund all tickets for flights that were cancelled on account of pandemic restrictions last year until 31 March 2021. Airlines which could demonstrate financial distress got relief from the court and have been allowed to move the booking amount into a "credit shell" to be used on a flight later. However, the amount deposited in the 'credit shell' will be grown by 0.75 percent per month (9 percent per annum) after 31 March 2021.