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Parliamentary Panel Demands Answers From Shakahaari Air India Over Non-veg Food Ban

Air India had in 2015 issued a circular, saying non-vegetarian meals would not be served on its fights where the journey time is 90 minutes or less.

Pallavi Ghosh | CNN-News18pallavighcnnibn

Updated:September 1, 2017, 6:08 PM IST
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Parliamentary Panel Demands Answers From Shakahaari Air India Over Non-veg Food Ban
In October 2016, few vegetarian passengers on a Shanghai-Delhi-Mumbai flight were served non-vegetarian food.
New Delhi: The shakaahari Air India may be in for some rocky times. Parliamentary panel on tourism met on Wednesday to demand an explanation from Air India and government as to why non-vegetarian food was off the plate on domestic routes of Air India economy class.

In a statement on July 10, the loss-making national carrier said the move was aimed at reducing wastage and costs, and to improve catering service.

It led to outrage and the Air Passengers Association of India objected to it.

The parliamnetary panel, headed by TMC's Mukul Roy, also discussed the government's proposal to divest stakes in the loss-making national carrier.

During the meeting, Congress member KC Venu Gopal said: "It's the right of the passenger which cannot be taken away."

The panel said it will raise this issue in Parliament and demand a withdrawal of this decision.

Air India — founded in the 1930s and known to generations of Indians for its Maharajah mascot — is saddled with a debt burden of $8.5 billion and a bloated cost structure. The government has injected $3.6 billion since 2012 to bail out the airline.

Air India has faced flak in the past for serving non-veg meals to vegetarian passengers. In October last year, few vegetarian passengers on a Shanghai-Delhi-Mumbai flight were served non-vegetarian food.

According to sources in Air India, the decision to take non-vegetarian meals off the menu was being considered for the last four months by the airline's board of directors.

Air India had in 2015 issued a circular, saying non-vegetarian meals would not be served on its fights where the journey time is 90 minutes or less.

Air India, once the country's biggest airline, has seen its domestic market share slump to 13% as private rivals such as IndiGo and SpiceJet have expanded.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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