Flights that have a duration of under two hours will not be serving any in-flight meals from today. This has been done in order to help curb the Coronavirus spread and this directive, which comes into action from today, was given by the Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday. When scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 after coronavirus lockdown last year, the ministry had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions. Here’s all you need to know about the new guidelines:
What does the order say?
Modifying the previous order, the ministry’s fresh directive said: “The airlines, operating flights on domestic sectors, may provide meals services on board, where the in-flight duration is two hours or more." The ministry stated it has decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights considering “the increasing threat of COVID-19 and its variants".
However, flights with a duration of over two hours will continue to serve food albeit in disposable cutlery and are only allowed to serve pre-packed food.
Can you not eat food inside flight at all?
No, you can your packed meal, snacks and drinks purchased from the airport inside the flight. The directive is only meant for airlines for not serving any meal inside the flight. In flights with duration more than two hours, only pre-packed is being sold. Only if you have pre-booked your order for warm freshly cooked food, they are provided with one.
Is this the first time such a decision is taken?
No, during the first wave of COVID-19, when the domestic flights were resumed in May, a directive was issued not to provide inflight meal to passengers. However, it was later tweaked to provide pre-packed meal to passengers. The same ruling continues today. In fact, airports were not allowed to serve F&B initially when flights resumed, but were later allowed to serve food to travellers.
Why such a decision is taken?
Covid cases have risen unabated in the last few weeks in India, with the country seeing the highest number of cases ever on Wednesday. India recorded its biggest-ever single-day spike on Thursday for the second day in a row with 2,00,739 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours and 1,038 deaths. There were 93,528 discharges said the Union Health Ministry. The total number of cases in India now stands at 1,40,74,564, total recoveries are at 1,24,29,564, active cases at 14,71,877 and death toll at 1,73,123.(With Inputs from PTI)