The ministry of civil aviation on Monday banned meal services on board flights with a travel duration of less than two hours.
The ban aims to minimize instances of passengers taking off masks, which are an essential part of the measures taken to contain the spread of the covid-19 pandemic amid a surge in cases in the country.
The ban will come into effect from 15 April.
“Airlines operating flights on domestic sectors may provide meal services on board wherein the flight duration is two hours or more,” ministry joint secretary Usha Padhee said in a notification on Monday. A copy of the notification has been reviewed by Mint.
Airlines are now allowed to serve in-flight meals in disposable plates, while beverages will no longer be poured but will be pre-served in disposable cups. “Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for each meal/beverage service,” the notification said.
India has overtaken Brazil to become the country that is the second-most affected by the coronavirus, with the US being the most affected.