The passengers taking flights which have a duration of less than two hours won’t be getting any food service onboard from today as the government has banned the airlines to serve meals in domestic flights that have a duration of under two hours. The directive issued by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is effective from today.

However, 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 had said. The ministry said it decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights due to ‘the increasing threat of COVID-19 and its variants’.

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Here is all you need to know about the new rule:

  • Airlines are permitted to serve only pre-packed snacks, meals and pre-packed beverages on flights that have a duration of more than two hours.
  • In all classes, tray set up, plate and cutlery which would be used, have to be completely disposable and no re-use or cleaned and disinfected rotatable can be used.
  • Used disposable trays/crockeries/cutleries shall not be re-used.
  • Used rotatable shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before re-use.
  • In all classes, tea, coffee, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage services will be in disposable cans containers, bottles, or glasses. There will be no pouring service and beverages will be served in single-use disposable units
  • The servicing of in-flight meals must be staggered among the adjacent seats as far as possible.
  • The passengers would be informed of the practices for strict compliance before the start of catering services by way of passenger announcements.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since 23 March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special international passenger flights have been operating under the Vande Bharat Mission since last May and under bilateral air-bubble arrangements formed with 28 countries since July

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