The passengers taking flights in India that have a duration of less than two hours won't be getting any meal onboard from Thursday, as a government order comes into effect. The directive was issued by the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) on Monday.
The meals, however, will be made available in flights flying for more than two hours as long as the airlines use disposable cutlery and serve only pre-packed food, the ministry clarified.
As domestic flights resumed on May 25 last year after the nationwide lockdown, the MoCA had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions. The ministry said it decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights due to the "the increasing threat of Covid-19 and its variants," news agency PTI reported. All three coronavirus variants of the UK, South Africa and Brazil demonstrated increased transmissibility, as reported by the World Health Organization, the ministry added.
To curb the spread of Covid-19, no meals will be served aboard domestic flights with a flight duration lesser than two hours.
In case of a flight with duration of more than two hours, tray set-up, plates and cutlery will be completely disposable with no re-use, or cleaned and disinfected rotables will be used.
Used disposable trays crockeries/cutleries shall not be re-used. Used rotables shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before re-use.
In all classes, tea, coffee, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage services will be in disposable cans containers, bottles, or glasses. There will be no pouring service and beverages will be served in single-use disposable units.
All used disposable and reusable meal trays, plates, cutleries, beverages bottles, cans and glasses will be disposed of in the trash bags and carts by the crew, at the end of the meal service. The crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal beverage service.
The passengers would be informed of the practices for strict compliance before the start of catering services by way of passenger announcements.
The servicing of in-flight meals will be staggered among the adjacent seats as far as possible.