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Airlines will not be permitted to serve meals on domestic flights with effect from Thursday. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Govt bans meal services on less than 2 hours domestic flights

As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country, the government has banned meals on domestic flights that have a duration of fewer than two hours. Airlines will not be permitted to serve meals on domestic flights with effect from Thursday, the Civil Aviation Ministry has said.

It further said that the airline may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages as per the policy of the airline, wherein the flight duration is two hours or more.

“Operating flights on domestic sectors may provide meal services onboard, wherein the flight duration is two hours or more,” the office memorandum of the ministry said.

However, it added that 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,” the order read.

Ministry of Civil Aviation bans meal services on flights

“The passengers would be informed of the above practices for strict compliance before the start of catering services by way of passenger announcements. The servicing of inflight meals is to be staggered among the adjacent seats as far as possible,” the order said.

When scheduled domestic flights were resumed on 25 May after coronavirus lockdown last year, the ministry had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions.

Scheduled international flights have been suspended in India since 23 March 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

India has surpassed Brazil to record the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases. India’s daily new cases continue to rise daily. The country recorded 1,61,736 new cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

Ten states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala have shown a rise in the COVID daily new cases. 80.80% of the new cases are reported from these 10 states.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases, which is followed by Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

India’s total active caseload has reached 12,64,698. It now comprises 9.24% of the country’s total positive cases.

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