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SpiceJet announces multiple new domestic flights; opens COVID-19 testing labs

SpiceJet on Saturday announced that it will add 66 new domestic flights, continuing its expansion, including additional frequencies on some routes, in its domestic network from 28th March.

These new flights will be operated by a combination of Boeing B737s and Bombardier Q400 aircrafts. The new routes are aimed at augmenting connectivity between metro and non-metro cities as part of its enhanced network.

Expanding in Tier-II cities

In a bid to support the increasing travel demand from smaller cities which were initially connected by the no-frills carrier under the UDAN scheme, the airline has introduced new flights connecting Darbhanga, Durgapur, Jharsuguda, Gwalior and Nashik with some key metro cities, the airline said in a release.

From Darbhanga, the low cost carrier will operate flights to Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata after already connecting the city with Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. SpiceJet is the only airline currently operating flights from Darbhanga, giving it a monopoly on traffic.

Flight schedule of Ahmedabad-Darbhanga-Ahmedabad route:

  • Ahmedabad-Darbhanga
  • Departure time: 08:25
  • Arrival time: 11:00
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
  • Flight number: SG391
  • Darbhanga-Ahmedabad
  • Departure time: 11:30
  • Arrival time: 13:45
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: SG392

Flight schedule of Hyderabad-Darbhanga-Hyderabad route:

  • Hyderabad-Darbhanga
  • Departure time: 08:30
  • Arrival time: 10:45
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: SG113
  • Darbhanga-Hyderabad
  • Departure time: 16:20
  • Arrival time: 18:45
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Flight number: SG116

Flight schedule of Pune-Darbhanga-Pune route:

  • Darbhanga-Pune
  • Departure time: 11:15
  • Arrival time: 13:10
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
  • Flight number: SG114
  • Pune-Darbhanga
  • Departure time: 13:50
  • Arrival time: 15:50
  • Flight time: 2 hours
  • Flight number: SG115

Flight schedule of Kolkata-Darbhanga-Kolkata route:

  • Kolkata-Darbhanga
  • Departure time: 14:50
  • Arrival time: 16:05
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3229
  • Darbhanga-Kolkata
  • Departure time: 16:35
  • Arrival time: 18:05
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3230

Durgapur will now be connected to Pune by SpiceJet. The airline already serves Durgapur with flights to Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.

Flight schedule of Pune-Durgapur-Pune route:

  • Pune-Durgapur
  • Departure time: 13:15
  • Arrival time: 16:00
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
  • Flight number: SG395
  • Durgapur-Pune
  • Departure time: 16:30
  • Arrival time: 19:00
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Flight number: SG396

Jharsuguda will now be connected to Chennai in addition to Delhi, Hyderabad & Kolkata which SpiceJet already operates to.

Flight schedule of Chennai-Jharsuguda-Chennai route:

  • Chennai-Jharsuguda
  • Departure time: 13:10
  • Arrival time: 15:00
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Flight number: SG765
  • Jharsuguda-Chennai
  • Departure time: 15:30
  • Arrival time: 17:15
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Flight number: SG766

Gwalior which is already connected to Hyderabad, Jammu, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Delhi by SpiceJet will now also be connected to Pune.

Flight schedule of Pune-Gwalior-Pune route:

  • Pune-Gwalior
  • Departure time: 12:45
  • Arrival time: 14:50
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 5 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3012
  • Gwalior-Pune
  • Departure time: 15:20
  • Arrival time: 17:45
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3013

After connecting Nashik with Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, the airline will connect the city with Kolkata as well.

Flight schedule of Nashik-Kolkata-Nashik route:

  • Kolkata-Nashik
  • Departure time: 06:10
  • Arrival time: 08:30
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 20 minutes
  • Flight number: SG647
  • Nashik-Kolkata
  • Departure time: 09:00
  • Arrival time: 11:10
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Flight number: SG648

Expanding in Pune

As aforementioned, SpiceJet is connecting Pune with Darbhanga, Durgapur and Gwalior. Additionally, the airline is also connecting the city with flights to Jabalpur and Varanasi under the expansion. This comes despite cases in Pune surging and leading fears of a second wave of cases in India.

Flight schedule of Pune-Jabalpur-Pune route:

  • Pune-Jabalpur
  • Departure time: 12:45
  • Arrival time: 13:50
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3012
  • Jabalpur-Pune
  • Departure time: 14:20
  • Arrival time: 15:30
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Flight number: SG3013

Flight schedule of Pune-Varanasi-Pune route:

  • Pune-Varanasi
  • Departure time: 13:15
  • Arrival time: 15:25
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Flight number: SG395
  • Varanasi-Pune
  • Departure time: 16:45
  • Arrival time: 19:00
  • Flight time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: SG396

Additional new routes

Srinagar has also emerged as another major destination for SpiceJet. In addition to increased frequencies, the airline will also add direct flights from Srinagar to Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Leh, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, along with another service to Mumbai. The popular tourist city has seen traffic rise as leisure travelers return to the skies.

SpiceJet is also adding flights from Mumbai to Hyderabad (a business-heavy route it was absent on), Mumbai to Surat, and Kochi to Pune. Overall, SpiceJet is eying its biggest expansion in the last year with this announcement.

Increasing frequencies

The airline will also enhance its operations with additional frequencies on Delhi-Gorakhpur (2nd frequency), Mumbai-Rajkot (2nd frequency), Chennai-Madurai (2nd frequency), Mumbai-Jaipur (2nd frequency), Bengaluru-Goa (2nd frequency), Mumbai-Srinagar (2nd frequency), Delhi-Rajkot (2nd frequency), Delhi-Srinagar (3rd and 4th frequency), Delhi-Dharamshala (3rd frequency) and Mumbai-Goa (3rd and 4th frequency) amongst many other routes.

Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Commercial Officer, SpiceJet said:

We are delighted to further expand our domestic operations and add 66 new flights to our network for the start of this summer schedule. As the country’s largest regional operator, the new flights further reiterate our commitment towards enhancing regional connectivity, besides offering unique connections to many leisure destinations.

SpiceHealth opens its COVID-19 testing labs for public

SpiceHealth, a healthcare company founded by SpiceJet promoters Ajay Singh and Avani Singh, on Thursday said it has now opened its COVID-19 testing laboratories for the general public.

“Till now, SpiceHealth… has been working with various state governments and government medical bodies to facilitate COVID-19 testing,” the company said in its press release.

While that association continues, SpiceHealth said it has now decided to open its testing facilities for the general public “to ensure rapid testing to fight the pandemic”.

In the first phase, the company will make its testing facility available for the general public in Mumbai and Delhi.

“To further enhance the convenience of customers, SpiceHealth will also allow sample collection from the comfort of their home at a nominal charge. Customers will also have the option to book online appointment and get themselves tested at the nearest SpiceHealth mobile lab,” it noted.

SpiceJet is offering passengers COVID-19 tests for as little as ₹299 ($4). The price is much lower than the market price for RT-PCR treating and is SpiceJet’s most recent attempt to diversify its business.

Passengers flying with SpiceJet can use their PNR as a discount code and book the test for ₹299 ($4) at a facility (or pay ₹299 more for home collection), while anyone else looking to get a test can pay ₹499 ($6.8).

Featured image by Boeing

What do you think of SpiceJet’s domestic expansion and opening of COVID-19 testing labs to public? Let me know in the comments section below.

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