As part of cost-cutting measures, Air India will not serve non-vegetarian food to its economy class passengers on domestic routes. The national carrier has stopped non-veg food for economy class with immediate effect. However, non- veg food will be served in business class and first class.
The company is reportedly under a debt of Rs. 55000 crores. Air India Chairman and Managing Director Lohani said that the decision has been taken to reduce cost and wastage both. A senior officer in Delhi said that it is not a ban; it is a strong decision to stop serving non-veg for economy class. As per sources, the move is an extension of a December 2015 order which stopped non-veg food in under- 90 minute duration flight.
“A full-service carrier like Air India should not resort to such a measure. Even a low-cost carrier gives the passengers their food options. Air India should have conducted a passenger survey before taking this drastic step, and it should immediately withdraw the decision,” said Mahesh Y Reddy, secretary-general, Air Passengers Association of India.(excerpt taken from thehindu.com).Last year passengers had complained that they were served non-veg instead of their request for vegetarian food.
A senior official of Air India said that this move should lead to an annual saving of 8 crores. Air India spends almost 400 crores on catering in domestic and international flights per year. 70 percent of the passengers opt for vegetarian food. Also when passengers do not specify their meal request at the time of their booking, it causes much trouble while serving food. Excess demand of vegetarian food and shortage due to veg and non-veg ratio is a matter of concern. Hence the airline decided to keep only vegetarian food for economy class on short duration domestic flights.