Govt allows airlines to resume on-board meals using disposable trays

Topics Centre | meals | airlines

The table and cutlery have to be set up from before as cabin crew will not be permitted to do on-board service.
In a significant relaxation, the government has allowed serving of meals on-board for both domestic and international flights.

Selling on-board meals is a significant source of ancillary revenue for low cost airlines which has dried up as in-flight meals were banned when air transport had resumed on 25 May to counter the spread of the virus on-board.

While for domestic flights, only pre-packed snacks and beverages have been allowed, airlines operating international flights can also serve hot meals and alcohol. Airlines are undertaking international flights for repatriation purpose and private charters.

However, the government has mandated that on-board meals have to be served only in disposable trays and crockery which should not be reused. The table and cutlery have to be set up from before as cabin crew will not be permitted to do on-board service. “Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for meal service,” the government order said. Pouring service by cabin crew for tea, coffee or alcohol is not allowed.

Selling on-board meals is a major source of revenue for low cost carriers like IndiGo, Go Air, SpiceJet and for full service carriers like Vistara and Air India, the quality of meals acts as a differentiating and marketing factor. The others being cargo, special service requests, ticket modification and cancellation.

Due to the ban, India’s largest airline IndiGo saw its ancillary revenues fall by 81.3 percent in April-June period.

An official of the aviation regulator DGCA said the airlines can put on no-fly list any passenger who refuses to wear a face mask.

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