New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The government has updated the Standard Operating procedures for Domestic and International flights, under which the airlines can now serve meals, snacks, and beverages as per their discretion while following all due procedures necessary for protection from contagious COVID-19.

The Civil Aviation ministry had previously issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures for domestic and international flights barring them to serve food and beverages onboard, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread. The currently updated SOP for domestic flights now says that the airlines can serve the pre-packed meals, snacks and beverages as per their own policy of serving eatables inside the flights.

For the international flights, the currently updated SOP states that the airlines may serve hot meals with limited beverages.

In addition to the revival of on-board food service in the flights, the Civil Aviation ministry has also given the airlines right to put the passengers in no-fly-list if they do not wear mask or refuse to follow the restrictions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Indian Express reported while quoting a senior DGCA official.

So henceforth, in both international and domestic flights, airlines can serve hot meals with limited beverages as per their own standard practices. But certain conditions needs to be followed so as to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The conditions as mentioned in Civil Aviation ministry’s SOP says that airlines will have to serve food only in the disposable trays, plates, cutlery with no re-use. All beverages including tea, coffee, and liquor will be served in the disposable cans, containers, bottles, and glasses. Hostesses and the stewards will not be pouring any beverages, as they will be served in single-use disposable units.

The flight crew mandatorily has been told to wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal or beverage service to be given to the flyer concerned in the airline. The airlines are now also allowed to operate in-flight entertainment while making sure that ‘disposable earphones’ are put in use or if they are reusable then they must be cleaned and disinfected before the boarding of passengers. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta