Stock RT-PCR tests for COVID-19
RT-PCR tests are confirmatory tests for COVID-19 Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: More airlines are partnering with private health care groups in the UAE to offer cheaper COVID-19 tests for passengers flying out of the country during the pandemic.

Dubai-based flydubai on Tuesday announced that it has partnered with Aster DM Healthcare to offer passengers COVID-19 PCR testing at a special rate of Dh180 per test.

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“The offer is available for flydubai passengers travelling from Dubai with testing services available at 28 Aster Hospitals and Clinics across Dubai and the Northern Emirates,” the airline stated in a press release.

On Sunday, Gulf News had reported that at least three other airlines — the UAE’s Air Arabia, and India’s Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express — had tied up with NMC Healthcare to offer special rates for reverse transcript-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for COVID -19.

Commonly referred to as PCR test, the confirmatory test for COVID-19 is offered for Dh150 at NMC hospitals and medical centres.

PIA and Indigo

An NMC spokesperson on Tuesday said two more airlines — Pakistan International Airline and India’s Indigo — have also partnered with the group for offering the same discounted package for their passengers.

He added that NMC Healthcare facilities across all the emirates now provide the special offer. Some of the facilities are also offering home testing at Dh190.

How to avail the service

flydubai stated that its passengers are required to submit a valid flydubai booking confirmation along with their Emirates ID or passport copy to redeem the offer. The test reports are issued after 48 hours. However, passengers who require test results in 24 hours can visit any Aster Hospital branch in Dubai, the Bur Dubai Aster Clinic branch or any Aster Clinic branch in Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah or Sharjah, the airline stated.

Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai, said: “We have been working hard to give our passengers the confidence and peace of mind that they need when they travel. In this new way of travelling, we recognise that the precautionary measures that are in place result in additional planning and preparation for passengers as well as associated costs.”

“This service, in partnership with Aster DM Healthcare, offers fast and efficient testing at a discounted price. Along with our safety measures on-board and our recently introduced free global cover for COVID-19, passengers can be encouraged to travel knowing that for each step of their journey these services will help more passengers fly again,” added Obaidalla.

The airline said the service is valid for all bookings done through its website, mobile app customer centre or travel shops, the Holidays by flydubai portal, travel agents or any of its travel partners.

“Passengers can call the Aster DM Healthcare call centre number on 04 440 0500 to book an appointment and to learn more about the test,” it added.