Air India moots meal in box proposal on short-haul routes

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Updated: August 3, 2018 10:02:45 PM

Air India's economy-class passengers on under hour-long flights could soon be served meal in boxes which can be collected right at the entrance as they board the plane, sources in the airline said.

Air India. (Reuters)

Air India’s economy-class passengers on under hour-long flights could soon be served meal in boxes which can be collected right at the entrance as they board the plane, sources in the airline said. The boxes could contain dry fruits, cookies and bun in place of meals served in trays, they said, but added that the changes are yet to be finalised. The airline is working on the proposal.

“The plan is to serve meal in boxes only on flights with a travel time of less than one hour. The advantage is that the food served will remain fresh and help the carrier check complaints about the quality of the food,” a source said.

The cash-strapped carrier had introduced all-vegetarian meal in economy class early last year. The sources, however, said the change is not aimed at pruning catering costs but to do away with certain catering tools to lighten the aircraft and save fuel.
They referred to full service carrier Vistara which recently announced a new flying option, giving passengers the freedom to buy meals on board as with low-cost carriers.

The proposed meal-in-box proposal by Air India comes at a time when the carrier is going through a turbulent period; losing approximately Rs 15 crore a day.

As per its audited accounts, the airline’s total cumulative losses stood at ?47,145.62 crore in the financial year 2016-17.

In a written reply in Parliament this week, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the government has no plans to exit the airline all together though it remains committed to disinvestment process of the national carrier.

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