In-plane eateries are something all of us have struggled with. While some airlines have provided lip smacking dishes during a flight, some others have time after time delivered absolutely horrendous menus and even worse tasting dishes. And while almost all airlines offer both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian dishes for its passengers, Air India seems to be taking a decision that will serve more as a cost cutting solution. Yes, you read that right. Air India will now bring changes in the food provided, which according to the airlines will save them Rs. 20 crore, as per the government.
How you ask? Back in July, Air India decided to not go ahead with non-vegetarian dishes for passengers travelling in economy class that are on domestic routes, which according to the government was a move to reduce the overall expenses.
According to Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, this move was a measure to save costs, brings minimal wastage and to provide improved service and to avoid major chances of meals mix up in their aircrafts. And by doing so the airline is said to be saving up to Rs. 8-10 crores. He also added that apart from the non-inclusion of non-veg meals, steps like meal schedule, ancillary items and rationalization of dry stores will also cut the expenses of the airline. Putting all of the moves as suggested by the Minister, the Air India airline in total is expected to save Rs. 20 crores.
Air India had previously replaced the veg and non-veg sandwiches in the aircraft with something called veg hot meals, for flights that flew up to 90 minutes in duration. Apart from the veg hot meals inclusion, the airline also took off tea and coffee from its menu, which was previously available on its lunch and dinner menu.
While all of these moves have been focused towards bringing the expenses down in domestic routes the national courier seems to be playing a different game for the international flights. The Civil Aviation Ministry had told the national carrier to “spend more to fill the aircraft”. What this means is that the aircrafts that will travel international routes will offer mocktails, wine and regional cuisine. The airline is also expected to offer food of choice as requested by passengers ahead of the flight.
Al of these moves by the national carrier is a means to reduce the debt of Rs. 48,876.81 crore. With not much of preferential status among the usual passengers, will the new moves by the national carrier work for itself? Or will the carrier lose it all? We guess only time can tell.