Friday, January 15, 2021

Bird flu impact: IndiGo, Vistara go all veg in their menus

Bird flu has not just impacted menus on the ground but also forced a tweak in what one could eat in the air. Airlines, including IndiGo and Vistara, have gone all vegetarian to keep the flu at bay.

Don't be surprised if the chicken tikka sandwich goes missing from IndiGo's 6E Tiffin menu. Nor will there be any keema with kulcha. One will have to suffice with poha, upma, or the veg sandwiches.

As in the country's largest airline, the story is similar in Vistara, whose customers otherwise look forward to its gourmet dishes. The airline, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, now is forced to restrict its menu to vegetarian options.

"As the cases had increased in Delhi, the state government had asked restaurants to avoid chicken and egg preparations. While this was just within the municipal areas, and thus is not applicable to the airlines, Vistara has taken a call to remove chicken and egg preparations, and replace them with vegetarian options," a senior executive said.

While the change will already be visible to passengers flying from Delhi, the new menus will start reflecting on flights from Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Pune from January 16.

"It's a psychological thing. The food is absolutely safe as long as it is well cooked. But the airlines don't want to take any chances, especially given that fliers are wary about health and safety due to COVID-19," said an executive from the industry.

All the municipal corporations in Delhi had on January 13, banned the sale and storage of poultry. While there were reports that the ban has been lifted, a day later, many eating joints in the capital region continued to keep chicken and egg off their menus. On January 13, Delhi had reported over 50 incidents of bird deaths because of avian influenza.

15/01/21 Prince Mathews Thomas/

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