Meals can now be served on all domestic flights: Aviation Ministry

Airline carriers had not been allowed to serve meals in flights of duration of less than two hours since April 15 due to the pandemic.
Passengers seated inside flight
Passengers seated inside flight
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The Civil Aviation Ministry on Tuesday, November 16 said it has allowed airlines to serve meals on all domestic flights. The carriers had not been allowed to serve meals in flights, which have duration of less than two hours, since April 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The airlines, operating flights on domestic sectors may provide meal services on board, without restriction on duration of the flight," the ministry's order said on Tuesday. The ministry has also permitted resumption of magazine and reading materials for passengers on domestic flights, the order noted.

The decision to resume meals and magazines has been taken as "Covid caseload" has reduced due to "proper implementation of appropriate Covid behaviour protocol", it mentioned.

When the scheduled domestic flight services were resumed on May 25 last year after the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, the ministry had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions.

Earlier, the Union health ministry had informed the civil aviation ministry that serving food on flights with a duration of less than two hours can be resumed, after the latter sought inputs from it for amending the existing regulations.

The health ministry had also said that the crew members on a flight need not wear coveralls but should continue to wear gloves, masks and face shields, according to sources.

India's COVID-19 tally rose to 3,44,66,598 on Wednesday with 10,197 fresh cases, while the active cases have declined to 1,28,555, the lowest in 527 days, according to the Union Health Ministry's data.

The death toll climbed to 4,64,153 after 301 more fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been below 20,000 for 40 straight days and less than 50,000 daily new cases have been reported for 143 consecutive days now.

The active cases have declined to 1,28,555 comprising 0.37 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.28 per cent, the highest since March 2020, the Health Ministry said.

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