Air India's Latest Cost Cutting Measure: No Non-Veg For Domestic Economy Class Fliers

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
| July 10 , 2017 , 13:36 IST

Swamped by loans and facing privatisation, the national carrier Air India has come up with a unique solution to cut costs; by stopping serving non-vegetarian food to economy class passengers on all domestic flights. The measure which came into effect from mid-June this year is expected to save a tune of Rs 8 crore per year.

“We have decided to serve vegetarian meals in our economy-class seats on domestic flights,” Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said to The Hindu. However, passengers of business and executive class will continue to be served non-vegetarian meals on domestic as well as international flights.

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According to Air India, the move has been taken to cut wastage and costs and will also avoid the mix-up between vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.

An Air India executive noted that there has been an increasing preference for vegetarian food.

“The number of vegetarian passengers is increasing. Generally, we uplift 70% vegetarian meals and 30% non-vegetarian meals. However, because of the increasing preference for vegetarian meals, wastage of non-vegetarian meals became high. Also, we run short of vegetarian meals, leading to complaints. So we decided to serve only vegetarian meals in certain sectors,” he said.

Air India's step of removing non-vegetarian food has faced a backlash from the industry.

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“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 of Air Passengers Association of India.

Currently, Air India spends around Rs 400 crore per year on its catering costs for both domestic and international flights. The carrier has attempted pruning its catering costs before as well. Last year, Air India stopped serving non-vegetarian food to economy-class passengers on flights with durations of maximum 90 minutes. Tea and coffee were also removed from the lunch and dinner menus as a cost-cutting measure.