No onboard meals on domestic flights with less than 2 hours duration

The government on Monday directed airlines to serve or sell in-flight meals from Thursday (April 15) only on those domestic flights that have a duration of over two hours, in wake of the sharp surge in Covid-19 cases in India. However, there are no restrictions on inflight meals on international flights as of now.

The ban will come into effect from Thursday, the ministry said in its order. When scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 after coronavirus lockdown last year, the ministry had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions. Modifying the previous order, the ministry’s fresh directive said that the in-flight meals will only be served when the flight time is two hours or more. 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. The servicing of in-flight meals must be staggered “among the adjacent seats as far as possible”, it added. The ministry said all three coronavirus variants of the UK, South Africa and Brazil demonstrated increased transmissibility, as reported by the World Health Organization.