India: Govt Permits Airlines to Serve Meals on Flight
GUWAHATI: The Centre on Thursday, August 27, relaxed onboard meal and in-flight service norms for domestic flights as well as international flights operated by Air India.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), through a fresh set of guidelines, allowed airlines to serve pre-packed snacks and meals on domestic flights.
This means, low cost airlines can start selling these items again and full service can resume their meal services.&nbs
Passengers on international flights can now be served hot meals and limited beverages instead of packed food and cold non-alcoholic beverages that were kept on seats to minimize crew-flyer interaction during the pandemic.
The ministry said only single-use disposable trays, plates, and cutlery should be used while serving food or beverages in domestic and international flights.
The ministry also permitted the aircraft operators to let passengers use the in-flight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights wherever available.
Moreover, any passenger who refuses to wear a face mask in a flight can be put on the no-fly list by the airline, said a senior official of the aviation regulator DGCA.
The official said no new order has been passed in this regard as the airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international flights have been operating under the 'Vande Bharat Mission' and bilateral air bubble arrangements that have been signed with various countries.
Domestic flights resumed in India on May 25 after a gap of two months in view of the pandemic.
However, airlines are allowed to operate 45 percent of their pre-COVID domestic flights.
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