Airlines can now provide meals to passengers after Centre relaxes norms

“Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages as per the policy of the airline..,” the aviation ministry said, in an order, issued in the evening on Thursday.

The Centre on Thursday relaxed onboard meal and inflight services for domestic and international flights by allowing airlines to serve packed food on flights with precaution.

“Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages as per the olicyof the airline..,” the aviation ministry said, in an order, issued in the evening on Thursday.

While food was not served on domestic flights, food packets were kept on seats on international flights operated.


As part of the order, the government has also asked airlines to follow safety protocol by keeping disposable tray, cutlery and glass etc and the crew shall be changing gloves before every serve.

These precautions are necessary under the current pandemic situation.

In another order, the centre has also allowed serving of alcohol and allowing in-flight entertainment (IFE) system with precautions.
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Earlier rules required IFE to be switched off to minimise the number of things that a passenger touched on flights.

“Each seat will have its own dedicated IFE to be used only by the passenger occupying the seat, the order read.

Currently, Indian airlines operate limited domestic and international flights. While the international flights are only a fraction of pre-COVID times and under air bubble agreement, domestic flights are increasing.

Allowing serving of meal on flights will be a big plus for airlines, especially the low-fare carriers, who see it as part of the ancillary revenues. However, it remains to be seen as to how many people chose to eat on planes due to the current situation.
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India, which has shut both domestic and international flights during the month of March this year, started gradually opening it in May.
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