Monday, July 10, 2017

No non-veg food for Air India's domestic economy class fliers

New Delhi: Air India stopped serving non-vegetarian meals to economy class passengers on all domestic flights from mid-June 2017.

“We have decided to serve vegetarian meals in our economy class seats on domestic flights,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani told The Hindu. However, non-vegetarian meals would continue to be served in business and executive class on domestic as well as international flights.

The national carrier took the decision to cut wastage and cost, and to avoid mix-up of vegetarian with non-vegetarian meals. “It also eliminates the possibility of mix-up: a non-veg meal getting served to a vegetarian passenger, as it had happened a few times in the past.”

“A full-service carrier like Air India should not resort to such a measure. Even a low-cost carrier gives the passengers their food options. Air India should have conducted a passenger survey before taking this drastic step, and it should immediately withdraw the decision,” said Mahesh Y Reddy, secretary-general, Air Passengers Association of India.

Last year, a ruckus occurred on a Shanghai-Delhi-Mumbai flight of Air India after some passengers complained that they were served with non-vegetarian fare instead of their preferred choice of vegetarian food.

A senior official of Air India said the decision should lead to ₹8 crore in annual savings for the ailing airline.

Air India now spends ₹400 crore on catering on its domestic and international flights every year, an Air India executive said.

Another executive said there was an increasing preference among passengers for vegetarian food.
10/07/17 The Hindu

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