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Guidelines for airlines: Meals allowed on flights, airlines can put flyers on no-fly list for refusing to wear mask

DGCA New Guidelines & Rules for Airlines: "Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages on domestic flights depending on the duration of flight," an order issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday.




In its latest set of coronavirus guidelines for flyers, Centre has allowed airlines to serve pre-packed snacks, meals and beverages on domestic flights depending on the travel time, and hot meals on international flights.

Besides this, the government has also directed passengers who refuse to wear a face mask in a flight to be put on the no-fly list, a senior official of the aviation regulator DGCA said. The airline and its cabin crew are sufficiently empowered under the existing DGCA rules to take action in this regard, the official added.

“Airlines may serve pre-packed snacks/meals/pre-packed beverages on domestic flights depending on the duration of flight,” an order issued by the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday.

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“Airlines and charter flight operators can ‘serve hot meals and limited beverages’ on international flights ‘as per the standard practices’, it added.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, as a precautionary measure, in-flight meal services were not permitted on domestic flights ever since their resumption on May 25. On international flights, only pre-packed cold meals and snacks were being served depending on the flight duration since May.

Providing further details, the ministry said only single-use disposable trays, plates and cutlery should be used while serving food or beverages on both the flights.

“Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for every meal/beverage service,” it noted.

Besides food, the DGCA also allowed the usage of in-flight entertainment system on international as well as domestic flights, wherever available.

“Disposable earphones or cleaned and disinfected headphones will be provided to passengers at the start of the journey,” the statement read.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23. However, special international flights have been operating under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ and bilateral air bubble arrangements that have been signed with various countries.

Domestic flights resumed in India on May 25 after a gap of two months in view of the pandemic. However, airlines are allowed to operate 45 per cent of their pre-Covid domestic flights.

(With PTI inputs)

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