The Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday that airlines are not allowed to serve meals on flights that have a duration of less than two hours in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases in India.The ban will come into effect from April 15, the ministry said in its latest order. However, there are no curbs on inflight meals on international flights as of now.
For flights longer than two hours, the meals' servicing will be staggered among adjoining seats, the order added.
The ministry had permitted the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions when scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 following the COVID-19 lockdown last year.
Modifying the earlier order, the ministry's fresh directive said, "The airlines, operating flights on domestic sectors, may provide meals services on board, where the in-flight duration is two hours or more."
The ministry also said that it has taken the decision to review the onboard meal services in domestic flights amid "the increasing threat of COVID-19 and its variants."
The announcement comes after India registered nearly 1.70 lakh fresh coronavirus cases on Monday, its highest one-day tally so far.
As many as 1,68,912 more people tested positive for coronavirus across the country in the last 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 1,35,27,717, according to the Union Health Ministry update on Monday morning.