Air India’s decision to stop serving non-vegetarian meals to economy class passengers on domestic flights is expected to save Rs 8-10 crore annually, the government said today. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the move is to save costs, reduce wastage, improve service and also avoid any chances of mix-up of meals. “The annual saving is expected to be around Rs 8-10 crore per annum,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
On whether the views of air passengers were solicited before taking the decision, Sinha replied in the affirmative and added that passenger feedback through cabin crew was received. The debt-laden national carrier has been taking various steps to reduce costs and revive its financial fortunes. These include rationalisation of certain loss making routes and enhanced utilisation of new fleet.
In a separate written reply, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said FIR (First Information Report) has already been registered by the CBI regarding the alleged irregularities in procurements/ purchase of aircraft by Air India. “The National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL) was formed on April 1, 2007 by the merger of the erstwhile Indian Airlines and erstwhile Air India.
“The erstwhile Air India had placed an order for 68 Boeing aircraft in December 2005 and the erstwhile Indian Airlines had placed an order for 43 Airbus aircraft in February 2006,” Raju said.